- 18 Oct 10
Here’s a marvel. How on earth do you get the year’s most thrilling picture from Ryan Reynolds in a box? You’ll just have to see Rodrigo Cortés’ debut feature to find out for yourself.
The screen is dark. There is, in fact, no stimulus at all save a small shuffling noise that slowly escalates into the sound of panic. We, the audience, are soon introduced to a space no bigger than a broom cupboard. Get used to it. We may be here for some time.
Here’s a marvel. How on earth do you get the year’s most thrilling picture from Ryan Reynolds in a box? You’ll just have to see Rodrigo Cortés’ debut feature to find out for yourself. Mr. Reynolds is a revelation as an ordinary Joe with a truck-driving gig in Iraq who wakes up to find himself in a coffin. Time, not to mention air, is already running out. There are no cutaways and no flashback scenes. There is only a Zippo and a mobile phone. Will our hero work these sundry items to his advantage? Will he ever see daylight or home again?
Debut director Rodrigo Cortés, working from an ingenious script by Chris Sparling, wrings white-knuckle tension and deft changes in tone from this stern Aristotelian premise. There are darkly humorous calls to 911 back home, terrifying threats from the protagonist’s kidnappers and callous dismissals from corporate villains.
It is customary in modern cinema for the cell phone to be placed out of bounds. (How many horror flicks begin with the phrase: “Huh… No signal”?) But even more than Cellular and Chakushin Ari, Buried excavates dramatic possibilities from these ubiquitous communication devices.
And wouldn’t you know it? In his frantic efforts to get help, Mr. Reynolds does indeed get put on hold.