Milwaukee Film Festival 2010: "Buried" = A gritty movie
Post by Maria Costello on 10/7/2010 12:19am
Who would think a movie starring only one person – Ryan Reynolds as Paul Conroy – could not only hold your attention for over an hour, but also take you through a gamut of emotions?
Conroy is an American working in Iraq as a civilian truck driver delivering relief supplies when his convoy is attacked. Conroy remembers little of the aftermath of the attack when he comes to, only to find himself buried alive in a wooden box. Then the real fun begins.
In the box are a lighter, a flask and a cell phone. We’re never really sure if he had those items on him or his captors have left him with those objects as a way to give him some hope or destroy his hopes of being found. Like most of us, when put in serious situations we vacillate between clear thinking and insanity. Conroy tries calling his wife, first at home and then on her cell; not to be found (just like Conroy is going to be hard to find). While desperately trying to find someone to take his call so he can explain his situation and get help, his captor calls him. The terrorists who have kidnapped him want a five million dollar ransom for all the injustices the Americans have caused to the Iraqi people. Just like so many of us assume that all Iraqis are bad people, the Iraqis who have captured Conroy feel all Americans are high powered, wealthy citizens that our government will be happy to cough up big bucks for. How wrong they are.
Conroy is desperately trying to get his message across that he is just an average American, with a family and a mortgage and he’s not worth the ransom. The captor wants Conroy to use the phone to make a brief movie, reading a script that has been left in the box along with a couple of phosphorus glow in the dark sticks for better lighting. Conroy refuses until he is sent a movie of one of the other people in the convoy – a woman he knows. Now we really see just how American Conroy is. Besides having a wife, a son and a mortgage back home; it looks like he might have a girlfriend in Iraq, the stereotype of every “soldier”.
Through this Conroy has finally
made contact with the F.B.I. and the State Department and through phone
calls with these unseen characters, we get a glimmer of hope. Finding
a box buried in the dessert isn’t going to be easy but Conroy is assured
that the good old US of A isn’t going to leave him out there to die.
Not wanting to spoil the other terrors this movie offers, let me say there were parts that had people screaming and moaning and very few of us weren’t on the edge of our seats. You’ll get a sense of how big companies and the government work when put into positions like this (this caused most of the moaning). You’ll see the frailty of someone’s life; was he good father, a good husband, a good friend, and a good employee? Does he have regrets, will he change if he gets rescued, and did he realize just how much Americans are hated? This is one of those films that entertains you and leaves you with wanting questions answered.
Rodrigo Cortes, the director, did a great job of directing a very difficult movie – one actor and a box to tell a 90-minute story that will leave you wanting more.