I’ve had the opportunity to rent a few DVDs recently and catch up on quite a few films that slipped through my gaze in the past few years. So I thought I would take a moment and review them. The first film of the bunch that got buried in my sub-conscious is the aptly named “Buried”, a film that seems ambitious from the get-go.
For those that didn’t hear about it when it came out, the film stars Ryan Reynolds as a truck driver in Iraq whose convoy gets attacked and they bury him so that he can be used for ransom by his kidnappers. What’s most ambitious about the film is that it takes place entirely within the coffin that Paul Conroy (the obviously stressed Ryan Reynolds) was in. There are a lot of film directors who focus on creating the right shot and for the right emotion, with the right lighting and colors to create that shot. In most movies that’s a fundamental aspect for the storytelling process, and to some extent that’s true of this film too. More important though in Buried is the performance of Ryan Reynolds. Truly this is a film built for an actor’s study.
How else do you explain a film about a man in a 6 foot box fir over 90 minutes being such a riveting piece of film? It’s a terrifying thing, watching a man struggling to deal with the reality of his situation. He starts off bound and blind to what happened to him, much as we, the audience, are coming into this. Slowly but surely we watch as, even trapped in a coffin buried under mountains of dirt and rock, things keep getting worse for him. Watching the truth of the situation unfold is unlike most films out there today. Many films, particularly horror films, rely on what’s just around the corner or the unknown to tell a story, and to some extent so does this film. But the beauty of “Buried” is that in some ways they are both the same thing. The uncertainty and the danger of the situation Paul Conroy is in, exists entirely in your head and where it might go stays there on the edge of your seat with you.
It goes without saying that Ryan Reynolds can be viewed as an unusual choice for a role that relies so heavily on the acting chops of the main actor. His most well known roles tend to be the romantic comedy kind and people don’t really associate them with great acting. But in this film, he proves that he is up to any challenge that might come at him. Does that mean he will always choose the right film or that the script will be up to the standards necessary to bring out such a performance? No, but when that great script does come along that lets him punch above the weight of other actors, boy does he have it in him.
It’s unfortunate that a film such as this seems to have flown under the radar for as long as it did, there are a lot of great things about it. But I can kind of understand why because of how uninteresting a film like this can seem to most people. Single shot movies tend to have the same problem so I can see how a film shot in a single location could have trouble finding an audience, not to mention the huge blockbuster that is Green Lantern (in the sense of money spent, if not in box office returns) which Ryan Reynolds also starred in which was released around the same time.Who wants to get “Buried”? You should, or at the very least you should go looking for the film and dig it up from wherever it might be hiding.