Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Robert Paterson, José Luis García Pérez, Stephen Tobolowsky, Samantha Mathis, Warner Loughlin, Ivana Miño, Erik Palladino
RunTime: 1 hr 35 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris
Rating: NC-16 (Coarse Language)
Official Website: http://experienceburied.com/
Opening Day: 7 October 2010
A unique and never-seen-before intense thriller about a man being trapped in a coffin under ground by the anonymous. Paul Conroy is not ready to die! But when he wakes up in total darkness and confined situation, life for the truck driver and family man instantly becomes a hellish struggle for survival.
Buried with only a cell phone and a lighter, his contact with the outside world and ability to piece together clues that could help him discover his location are maddeningly limited. Poor reception, a rapidly draining battery, and a dwindling oxygen supply become his worst enemies in a tightly confined race against time- fighting panic, despair and delirium, Paul has only 90 minutes to escape this claustrophobic death trap!
Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés is back with a full-length feature film that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. This movieinvites us to a visual experience within the box, yet a journey that is far beyond the box.
The brilliant idea of a one-man and one-location concept was accidentally conceived by screenwriter Chris Sparling when his previous scripts were being rejected due to cost of locations and the what-nots. So here we are directly confronted by the contemporary issues (and very relevant ones) that plague the society, and the intensified fear and anxiety of the man, Paul Conroy, who finds himself alive in a coffin.
Ryan Reynolds ventures out of North America and took up the role of Paul Conroy. It may come to you as a wonder why Ryan Reynolds was chosen for this role since for the most, we see this heartthrob in rom-coms (romantic-comedies) and the likes. That being said, his delivery of the drama is beyond the cover of the book. It was truly enjoyable. In Paul Conroy’s race against time and fight to survive, Ryan Reynolds translates these emotions and struggles pretty affectively. For once, it is no longer just appealing to the audience with his good looks and abs alone.
Back to the narrative, it is incredible that it gives the movie such depth and multi-dimensional aspect. Coupled with the extraordinary camera work and use of lighting, a realistic picture is painted. For the record, a total of seven coffins were use in the two and a half week filming. The scenes and the camera angles are played around and constantly on the go, such that the viewer’s anticipation is always kept high and the occurrences seem to catch you by surprise. Also, expect to go into the intimate understanding of the character as the story unfolds. This is as intimate as it can get, having every single event plotted around the character. The despair and desperateness of a person being pushed to his limits does bring about some resonance through the convincing act from Ryan. That being said, it in turn triggers deep thoughts and heartfelt sympathy for the character.
This very appeal for the movie can also be an overdramatic and traumatic experience for some. The saving grace is that this is already accounted for as well. Just when you think this movie is just too much to bear as you witness the suffering of this man, we are back to pitch black and the story starts to build up from there again. As such, the black screens were used to regulate the story very much. Again, it was very mindful and appropriately timed.
Overall, the crux of the success of this movie lies in its ability to extend beyond the construct of the set up. It is definitely the smallest set possible, yet delivering a larger than life idea.
(Be forewarned that for the whole of 95 min, it’s Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Reynolds, and Ryan Reynolds. Brace yourself for this claustrophobic experience ever)
Review by Tho Shu Ling