In case you haven’t watched this, it’s on Netflix and I think you should watch it before reading this. Just saying. It’s spoiler free but still. If your hands are in the air like you just don’t care and you want to know about what you’re going into, then read on.
If you’re thinking “Holy poop, that’s a huge title” then wait till you watch this movie. So I think I should tell you that what was my mindset when I sat down to watch this movie. I had a vague idea from the trailer and I thought it was a conversational kind of a movie about the protagonist being frustrated with the world and the way people treat each other and in some way she wants to take control and change her life. I began watching this movie thinking that and the movie also begins like this, as if the movie was being at par with my vision of the movie and then, everything starts to escalate. It’s just nuts. This movie is just nuts.
Last year, there was a lot of buzz around a movie starring Patrick Stewart and Anton Yelchin and this movie felt a lot like that movie. The name of that movie was Green Room. The story wasn’t the same but the level of self-containment and the rate of escalation of events is very similar. The movie begins with Ruth(Melanie Lynskey) going about her life and she lives alone in her house all by herself and is kinda depressed. By profession she is a nurse and this one day she has to witness one of her patients die and when she returns home, she finds out that she has been robbed. After asking around for a bit she winds up with Tony(Elijah Wood) and together they start to track down the people who have robbed her house. The story is kept pretty simple by establishing the protagonist(s) and a very clear antagonist(s). No mind-blowing twist and turns but a simple movie about re-inventing oneself to take on this world.
I genuinely think Elijah Wood is a nice person because I have seen his interviews and seeing him in this avatar was really funny. Tony is a emo-rock loving guy and he owns an arsenal of weapons and he thinks that he is some kind of badass. The way Elijah uses his comedic timing really added to the dry and deadpan humour of the movie. Melanie Lynskey is a veteran comedic actress and this is just cake-walk for her but the way she brought out her badass persona was really fun to watch. I began the movie thinking that Ruth was the timid one and Tony was the strong one but the movie manages to do the role-reversal in a very nice way. Also, the way that these characters played off each other without devolving into a romance was really fun to watch.
This is Macon Blair’s first ever directorial venture and he has just knocked it out of the park. I think you’ll remember him from the indie movie Blue Ruin. He has also written the movie. Considering the run-time, the movie is very evenly paced. The speed of each event increases gradually and even though there is a good doze of humour, the action feels very impactful. The reason why I was surprised by the action was because of two reasons. First, because I thought there wasn’t going to be any action and it will simply be a drama movie. Second, because the action literally comes out of nowhere. It surprises the characters as well as the audience.
It was so great to see that Blair took his time to establish the central characters and due to that I felt like I was struggling with these characters and I knew these characters. Also, the movie is really beautifully shot. There is rarely any hand-held camera sequences. The usage of static camera angles coupled with crisp editing was really commendable. Even though a few of the events during the last few minutes may seem a bit deus ex-machina, it won’t bring down the realistic feel of the rest of the movie. Tell you why, because the movie uses practical effects to it’s maximum potential. I really don’t want to talk about the rest of the characters because I think I will end up revealing some spoilers. I will just say this that except for the detective, everyone gives amazing performances.
FINAL VERDICT – Definitely, definitely watch this movie. Trust me, do not watch the trailer also. Just watch this movie knowing nothing and I am sure you’ll enjoy the hell out of this movie. One more thing, just make sure you have an appetite for gore.
Thanks for reading.