SYNOPSIS: From the producers of Kelly Reichardt's "Certain Women" and Jeremy Saulnier's "Green Room" comes the story of Ruth (Melanie Lynskey), a nursing assistant suffering through a crisis of existential despair. But when her house is burglarized, Ruth discovers a renewed sense of purpose in tracking down the thieves. Accompanied by her obnoxious martial-arts-enthusiast neighbor Tony (Elijah Wood), they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals.
I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore is that unknown quirky title that occasionally dropped in without much of an attention to it. If this is the past, it might be sitting in some deserted corner on the DVD rental shelves filled with cobwebs. However, with streaming giant Netflix picking this up, this indie title ought to be on your playlist next because it’s just too fun to miss.
New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men) plays a soft-spoken, mild-mannered nursing assistant Ruth who is slowly turning ballistic after finding her home being burgled. With the local police force not exactly helping, she enlisted the help of her weird ninja-loving neighbor, Tony (Elijah Wood) and begins her journey of finding back her stolen valuables liked her laptop, silverware and medication not knowing that a trio of dangerous criminals are lurking around the corner.
The movie begins as a harmless (even mundane) vigilante tale with two dysfunctional individuals who probably have difficulties fighting back anyone who jump queues in a supermarket. Ruth seems to be a nice lady stuck in an ugly world populated by selfish people while Tony’s only companions seem to be his shuriken and grizzly dog. But after the duo successfully retrieve Ruth’s stolen laptop from a bunch of rowdy teenagers (cue in Tony’s hilarious ninja-fighting skill), the entire flick seems to pick up its pacing and transform itself into a delightful dark violent comedy.
The drastic turn involved a lanky pale young man, Christian who is teaming up with two other shady characters to rob his rich father. How in the world did Ruth and Tony get themselves into a hot mess with this bunch of creeps? That is one interesting setup you need to watch and this could also be the reason why some audiences might find it hard to stomach.
It’s difficult to pair comedy with violence and it’s even more challenging to tell a good story. At the same time, you also need the audiences to root for your lead characters. Despite a last act which is surprisingly filled with all sorts of stomach-churning blood splat and wicked comedy, writer-director Macon Blair not only fulfilled all the above requirements with ease, the end results are actually ridiculously rewarding. For once, the subtle digs at the deteriorating modern American culture and society works flawlessly!
I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore won the Grand Jury prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. It boasts great performances from indie darling Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood and a bunch of dedicated relatively unknown cast. Preferably, the less you know the more you are going to enjoy this quirky crime flick.
Review by Linus Tee