Buried (2010) Review

Buried (2010) Review

Directed by Rodrigo Cortes and starring Ryan Reynolds, Stephen Tobolowsky, Samantha Mathis and Robert Pattinson, Buried is set 6 feet underground and within the confines of a coffin.

Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is about to have a bad day. A really, really bad day. Waking up buried in a coffin with no idea of who put him there or why. With only a cell phone and a lighter, his contact with the outside world and ability to piece together clues that could help him discover his location are maddeningly limited. Poor reception, a rapidly draining battery and a dwindling oxygen supply become his worst enemies in a tightly confined race against time— fighting panic, despair and delirium, Paul has only 90 minutes to be rescued.

Buried is about as claustrophobic as any movie can get. With the camera never leaving the confines of the coffin, you would be forgiven for thinking that it can get a little bit dull, but with the range of emotions conveyed by Reynolds, it’s remarkable how much can be done with a great story, expert direction and a gifted actor in one setting. Thinking back to movies such as Hitchcock’s Rope (1948) which takes place entirely in one room, one cannot help but compare. The movies are ultimately different though; while one addresses the nature of evil within men, the other addresses the primal instinct for survival from its highest to weakest points. In the those respects, Buried, though its setting is small, its story is as big as it gets, as director Rodrigo Cortes explains:

“The size of a story cannot be measured in square feet and inches, but instead is dependent on one thing and one thing only… the story itself, whether what it tells us is interesting or not, whether it captures the spectator’s attention and holds it throughout, and whether it makes us want to know what’s going to happen next, or better still – need to know.”

Buried certainly does that. Throughout the movie I was on the edge of my seat and at times could not bear what was about to happen next, but these moments are juxtaposed nicely with touches of humour as well. As Paul tries desperately to reach the world above via his cell phone he is constantly met head-on by the arbitrary nature of bureaucracy, operators putting him on hold and being told off for yelling, all the while his oxygen and phone battery continue to run low.

As “voice actors” Robert Paterson, Stephen Tobolowsky and Samantha Mathis also do really in the movie. We only hear them, but their presence in the movie is definitely felt, but it is José Luis García as Jabir who really stands out together with Reynolds as the driving force of the movie.

Buried will exploit your deepest fears and take you to a place deeper than where Paul Conroy finds himself, but it’s a journey worth taking if you want to explore your instinct for survival in the more comfortable setting of a cinema!

Static Mass Rating ★★★★★

Buried is released in cinemas in the UK from September 29th 2010 and is distributed by Icon Film.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 94 minutes

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Robert Paterson, Stephen Tobolowsky, Samantha Mathis and José Luis García.

Official Movie Site
UK Fanpage

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