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Buried is a riveting drama thriller film available on Blu-ray and DVD January 18th from Lionsgate.Â Director Rodrigo Cortes presents the story of Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds), a US contractor who awakes to find himself buried alive inside a coffin after his truck is ambushed by a group of Iraqis. Paul has only a lighter, a cell phone and a limited supply of oxygen to figure a way out.
Amazingly, writer Chris Sparling and Cortes manage to deliver a 95 minute film that keeps your attention despite taking place entirely inside the small confines of a wood coffin.
Ryan Reynolds is all alone as the prominent on-screen star in Buried, an d as Paul Conroy, the man at the center of the story. Within five minutes of the start of the film, you wonder how it is possible for this simple concept to evolve into an entertaining dramatic movies. However, as time wears on, the viewer becomes enthralled with Paul’s plight and the development of his situation.
Much of the drama takes place over a series of cell phone calls. Paul frantically calls out to the people he feels are most likely capable of finding his location and freeing him. He calls his wife, the FBI, his company, and others. Despite attempts by several people to keep Paul at ease, his tight quarters and lack of time before the sand starts coming through make peace of mind difficult.
Paul soon receives a call from the man who placed him in his buried coffin. He is asked to make a ransom video and to follow some additional instructions if he wants to get out. Paul must choose whether to comply with his captors or to trust the advice of the FBI agent trying to find him.
The ultimate concern that keeps you engaged in Paul’s struggle is your hope that he is eventually freed from his claustrophobic prison. As an aside, this film is not a good fit for asthmatics, or people who are likely to be disturbed watching a story about a man trying to survive while buried underground in a box not much bigger than his body.
Without much action or movement, Buried is a movie that is going to leave some viewers unfulfilled. However, the ability of the film makers, and Reynolds, to tell such an intense story through clever writing, phone-driven dialogue and stellar creepy moments (including a rattlesnake slithering out Paul’s pant leg) is truly impressive.
Another strength of Buried is its uncertain conclusion. Despite what you see play out on screen, the movie leaves just enough of a shadow of doubt to cause you to wonder if Paul’s story really ends as simply as it seems. To get that point, you have to let the story continue through the credits. The final moment after the credits is what leads you to wonder about what really happened to Paul.
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 95 Minutes
DVD Release Date: January 18, 2011
Director: Rodrigo Cortes
Starring: Ryan Reynolds
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