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Buried

Buried

By Jonahh Oestreich • February 13th, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
BURIED (Blu-ray)
Versus Entertainment | Icon

Release date: February 14th 2011
Certificate (UK): 15
Feature Runtime: Approx. 95 Minutes
Special Features Runtime:
Approx. 32 Minutes

Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Cast: Ryan Reynolds
Voice over: Robert Paterson, José Luis García-Pérez, Stephen Tobolowsky, Samantha Mathis, Warner Loughlin

I made sure to watch this Blu-ray in the morning, knowing there’s enough to experience afterwards that would distract me from the onsets of claustrophobic attacks including nightmares for a few days to follow. I was right to do so. Buried burns images and whole situations into your memory, the sort you won’t forget easily.

I also wonder if the lead and (almost) only actor Ryan Reynolds has been the same after shooting this movie. The fact it was filmed in sequence over 17 days, and not over months, hopefully has made the whole matter short and painless enough not to be damaged forever. I can not even imagine how Buried (Blu-ray)people who actually live through such an experience cope in the long run, or if their life is just over, in a way.

If you’re like me and decide not to watch Buried at night, you should make sure to darken your room… This is maybe the only disadvantage of this Blu-ray release – it won’t be the same as watching it in the blackness of a cinema.

And for those who haven’t seen it there, don’t think your TV set is broken when you don’t see and/or hear anything for the first minute or so. Keep watching.

The plot itself is straight forward. Paul Conroy (Reynolds), who serves as a truck driver in Iraq, finds himself six feet under in a rough, wooden coffin, apparently in the middle of the desert, with only a few items like a mysterious Buried (Blu-ray)cell phone and a Zippo; he has roughly 90 minutes of oxygen left to breathe. What follows is an emotional rollercoaster taking place in a boxed universe, and pretty soon I caught myself wanting to help Conroy get out of there.

There are a few funny moments like right at the beginning when the 911-operator asks him, after he told her he’s in a coffin, “Can you tell me your location?”- but this is the bizarre kind of humour only the viewer can enjoy.

Apart from that, we experience with Conroy not only his physical and emotional plight, but also the distressing state of mind of the people he calls and is called by.

Buried (Blu-ray)In an unprecedented way, Buried manages to tell a huge story without ever going outside to the surface. On this note, the movie is also, in a very sincere and autonomous way, an homage to Hitchcock and Scorsese. Despite the tightness of the location, there’s no repetition. Director Rodrigo Cortés and writer Chris Sparling relied solely on the power of storytelling, alongside cinematographer Eduard Grau handling the visuals with a stunningly inventive approach.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Featurette: Unearthing Buried (Making-Of)
Runtime: Approx. 17 Minutes
A stylish, nicely done docu, following the production in sequence and featuring cast and crew interviews.

Interview: Rodrigo Cortés (Director)
Runtime: Approx. 15 Minutes
Cortés answers questions about the story, script, Ryan Reynolds, cinematography, the physical and psychological challenges of the shoot, and the remarkable ending of the movie.

The Blu-ray contains a quite compelling making-of featurette and an interview with the director, both of which are more than just throw-in’s, visually and content-wise. The usual self-praise of cast and crew is very limited, instead featurette and interview focus on the production, including also the Spanish speaking crew members.

Even if you’re not a friend of confined settings (because that reminds you too much of a theatre) Buried can still serve as an outstanding example of storytelling, and as proof that there are countless possible angles even in the smallest of spaces – imagination galore.

Jonahh Oestreich

Jonahh Oestreich

One of the Editors in Chief and our webmaster, Jonahh is a photographer and journalist who has been working in the media industry for over 15 years, mainly in television, design and art. As a boy, he made his first short film with an 8mm camera and the help of his father. His obsession with (moving) images and stories hasn’t faded since.

His passion for intricate stories and the ‘seven basic plots’ (ask him!) often times makes his friends and family put him in the doghouse for "predicting" too many twists and endings.

You can follow Jonahh on Twitter @Resonance_Zero.

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