Due to the withdrawal of A Serbian Film from the Film Four Frightfest an emergency replacement needed to be found, and after several days of speculation it was finally revealed that the highly acclaimed Buried would be that replacement, and here it received its UK premier.
This incredibly moving, humorous and compelling movie finds the character Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) awaking to discover he is in a coffin buried beneath the surface, a driver in a convoy in Iraq, the last thing Paul remembers is being ambushed by insurgents; now he is imprisoned with no way out. Discovering a mobile he uses it to make a variety of phone calls in order to try and secure his freedom.
Buried is without a doubt one of the best movies I have seen in 2010, made even better by the fact that it is a completely one handed performance, except for characters on the telephone the only person you ever see in the movie is Paul. You might think this sounds a little boring, but believe me from the moment it started to the moment it finished there was always something happening.
I’m a big fan of Ryan Reynolds, he has never allowed himself to be categorised as a one genre actor, moving seamlessly from comedy to thrillers to action. Here Reynolds gets to really showcase his acting talent, and I think he’ll be firmly moving up the pay scale off the back of this performance. Reynolds plays every emotion in the movie, from humour to sheer terror and is totally convincing for every single minute.
The film says a lot about the things we all speculate on, chiefly the disposability of life for those in the poorest careers. Paul is really made to feel like a commodity or a number rather than a person.
The phone calls that Paul has are ones that we typically have when trying to ring places to get simple things achieved. Paul is put on musical hold, abused, and given lessons in manners as he tries to ensure his survival. It’s utterly believable that while he is explaining his situation, that the person on the other end either asks stupid questions, or tells him off for sounding too aggressive. It’s also typically frustrating that as Paul tries to make phone calls nobody is about to take those calls.
It’s not just the phone calls that keep the story going, Paul has to also encounter a deadly visitor of the reptile world, a fire, and the slow leaking in of sand from the layers of ground above.
The only criticism I could possibly give to the movie is that it’s possibly a movie you might only want to see once, or at least wait many years before watching again, you really need time to forget the conclusion in order to make it great again.
Buried is a totally immersive, compelling, human story it will make you laugh, and might drive you to tears, whatever way it takes you it is a movie that you will never forget.