The Story/The Direction:
This film is about a woman, Sawyer Valentini (Foy), who after seeing her stalker's face in a random date seeks help. When she finds an institution that will see her, she mentions some suicidal thoughts then accidentally signs herself into a 24-hour stay. She tries to call the cops but because she signed the form, they cannot do anything. She keeps on saying that she is completely sane but then she encounters her stalker as the person who gives her medicine. But he has a different name tag and the film plays with the question of "Is Sawyer sane or not?" Being in a mental institution, if one says they are sane and for everyone to believe them, they won't and think that person is even less sane. It's a classic catch 22.
As with a lot of his films (Ocean's, Magic Mike, Logan Lucky), Soderbergh does almost everything under the sun when it comes to the production of the film. He directs, films, and edits his films and this film is no exception. In this film, he decided to film the entire thing with an iPhone 7 Plus. This adds a realistic feel to the film as it seems at times to be closer to a documentary. It also adds to the stalker aspect of the story as some scenes feel like someone is filming Sawyer from a distance. It does seem that Soderberg was having fun using such a small camera to get angles other cameras could not.
Foy, famous mostly for her role in The Crown, plays the potentially troubled woman fairly well as the audience sees her go through a lot of different emotions. Leonard plays her prowler who is essentially a smaller version of Nurse Ratchett. The audience questions the legitimacy of both characters and both actors play this ambiguity fairly well.
However, even with the actors playing up the ambiguity, the truth seems very obvious which unfortunately takes away from the thrilling aspects of the film. Furthermore, the iPhone filming is clearly obvious at times with the colors looking flat and the dark areas being overly dark. This makes the entire film feel a little boring at times as the viewer only wants to move to the next scene so the film will eventually finish.
As the film progresses and the thrilling aspects become more intense, the film stays somewhat interesting. It does have an interesting story that may keep one engaged enough to feel that their time was not wasted. However, the lack of the film's thrilling aspects and the filming being fairly poor at times make this film good but not enough to watch it again.
Rating: 3.0/5.0 bowties
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