Last night on the way to the Chicago premiere of Buried, I was running to catch my arriving train so I could make it to the theater in time. To say the train was packed was a major understatement. I had people pressed against me, my face was all up in some chick’s hair. All I could think about was putting a pregnancy test high on my shopping list.
I’m easily claustrophobic so the train ride which was only a few minutes, felt like a lifetime. I had to hold my breathe and close my eyes just waiting for that glorious moment that my stop arrived, the doors would open and I would be free to breathe again. This was just prep for what I was going to experience while watching Buried.
Paul Conroy is a U.S. contractor working as a driver in Iraq. His job was simply to deliver supplies and that’s all. After his crew was attacked by Iraqis, he wakes up in a coffin with a lighter and a cell phone. Paul is running out of air and time and must reach out to someone who can find him and get him out of there before it’s too late.
The film is an endless loop of hope and despair. As Paul suffers from panic attacks, restricted space and a slowly but surely dying cell phone, he shifts between believing that he’ll be found and believing that he’ll die there.
Ryan Reynolds solitary performance as Paul is intensely forceful. He has nothing but his thoughts, fears and emotional turmoil from each phone he makes and receives.
He holds on to the hope that Dan Brenner, an International liaison who has dealt with this situation before, will do everything in his power to track and save him but he also has to cooperate with the terrorist who wants money for him.
For the audience, we’re in that box with Paul. We don’t get to see what’s going on in the outside world. The film opens with Paul waking up in the box so we’re thrown in his situation from the beginning. There’s no relief from relating to what Paul is going through. We just have to see it through with him.
As soon as the film ended, I found myself letting out a deep gasp of air. I felt like I was getting off the train again after holding my breath through an uncomfortable situation. And by that I mean from my experience viewing the film, not relating to anything that happens to Paul.
So, does Paul make it out of the box or is he left there to die?…..
Buried hits theaters on September 24th.