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Buried Review

Dinah’s Rating: 5/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 6.6/10
(3 ratings total)

Buried is certainly a movie you and your friends will have to discuss after viewing. Whether or not you have good things to say is a matter of opinion. The single setting film is a rare find in Hollywood cinema but this particular effort lacks enough tension to propel it past its own hype.

Buried centers solely, and I mean solely, upon Paul Conroy. He is a trucker working in Iraq who is overtaken, captured, and buried by locals. He awakens to find himself entombed with a phone, lighter, and writing utensil. The next 90 minutes are his frantic attempt at rescue via phone call, after phone call, after phone call. And therein lays the major problem with any single place film — inevitable boredom.

Writer Chris Sparling struggles to find coherent and exciting dialogue and action to fill more than 45 minutes, but he made a film that is twice that length. I often found myself tapping my foot and checking my watch, a sentiment shared by my friend and fellow audience member. There simply was not enough material to maintain consistent interest. Not much can be done in a coffin and a phone call can only create so much anticipation.

Buried

There are remedies for the shortcoming of the film, but Director Rodrigo Cortés does not employ a single one very well. The score for the film is fantastic, though it is hardly ever heard. Occasionally an exciting scene will mount upon a jittery melody and amplified sound. These are the most memorable moments, but the use of music was inconsistent. Its presence was greatly missed at other times when the story seemed to drag.

Cortés sporadically lights the film in odd colors, a pleasant artistic touch. Unique angles and inspired cinematography are utilized once, and then never seen again. To read that the film was produced for $3 million begs the question of what the heck that really amounted to in creative camerawork and editing. The editing was simply too subdued given the limited space where the story takes place. Every movie doesn’t need explosions or flashy wardrobes and a huge ensemble cast, but some sort of flair is necessary to make a film like this inventive.

What it lacks in creativity, Buried makes up for in performance. Reynolds and his voice castmates do their best. Reynolds was believably frantic in the opening scene and throughout his ordeal. His angry raging at a female acquaintance and lovingly desperate conversation with his wife shows his range of dramatic depth and comic timing. But his performance did not override implausibility and confusion. In one tacked on scene, Conroy must deal with an intruder that was brought in simply to fill time.

Buried was a bit of a disappointment. Advertising placed a high bar of excellence on the film, and rave reviews added to the anticipation. However, Cortés presented an impressive concept with a boring execution. With greater emphasis on sound, editing, and cinematography, this single-area film would have been a memorable adventure.

Rating: 5/10

Buried
Directed by Rodrigo Cortés
Written by Chris Sparling
Starring: Ryan Reynolds

Other Player Affinity Reviews

Simon thought:Buried (featuring a breathless performance by Ryan Reynolds in the only on-screen role) is the kind of film you never, ever, want to see again but delivers on every ounce of what is promised and simply, is a film that should be seen (if not enjoyed in the traditional sense). Coupled with Reynolds’ disturbingly authentic portrayal of a captured civilian contractor in Iraq is director Rodrigo Cortes’ superb direction. The Spaniard complies a collection of gripping camera shots, boundless tension and utterly devastating drama, all of which takes place effectively in the simple setting of a buried wooden coffin. This is the kind of role devoid of vanity you see little of in modern Hollywood.” Rating: 8/10

Joseph’s Rating: 7/10

Player Affinity Composite Rating: 6.6/10 

Rating
6.6

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