The initial reaction to a 95 minute flick about a man in a box might be one of dismissal and premature judgement that it will be uninteresting and uneventful.
‘Buried’ IS the 95 minute flick about a man in a box and every second of that time is spent creating tension and establishing an emotional connection with the protagonist, a truck driver in Iraq by the name of Paul Conroy- brilliantly played by Ryan Reynolds. The first 5 minutes of screen-time are spent in pitch black but you become instantly aware that a man has woken up in a confined area with no idea of how he came to be there. All Reynolds has to work with is a mobile phone and a lighter (for the most part), and this simplicity pays off hugely as it gives the film an essence of realism that many films can’t hope to achieve. It is so refreshing to see Reynolds embarking on a serious role and hopefully with this title on his resume he will be cropping up in a few more serious parts.
You might think that, yeah, sure, there have been one-location movies made in the past but ‘Buried’ takes it to a whole new level; the space in which the entirety of the film is shot can be no more than 8’x4’ and no external lighting is used. This claustrophobic atmosphere is constant throughout the film and it only gets heavier and heavier after the films slightly slow start -note- if you are claustrophobic, do NOT see this film, you will die.
Hats off to director Rodrigo Cortes, the sense of space and discipline with which this film is shot is extraordinary, and yes, bold moves are made,( it is a surreal experience to be in a theatre full of people all looking at a black screen) it truly is a remarkable piece of filmmaking in terms of camera movements, sound and lighting. All decisions taken in production pay off and fused with the well acted every-man “hero” you can really feel for, ‘Buried’ becomes a nail-biting and emotional journey that any film-lover should venture on.
further note- Go to a late showing when you are in the mood for a serious film, don’t go when all the little pikey kids are chatting shit in the row behind you waiting until it’s dark enough for them to go out and steal hubcaps or something. Talking during this film will be noticed and you will be shunned for killing the atmosphere. Dicks.