Kimi ★★★★★

Another banger from Steven Soderbergh. I was amazed at how reverential Soderbergh was to the domestic thriller genre; so much so that even with all the well-worn tropes, he and screenwriter David Koepp manage to make it all new again.

The concise and efficient storytelling on display is fine-tuned for maximum pacing and the presentation is both enjoyably scrappy and vivid; which fits both the creaky genre origins and the modern aesthetic of the setting of the story. The nods to classic work are enjoyably implicit i.e. THE CONVERSATION, REAR WINDOW, WAIT UNTIL DARK, BLOW UP.

The musical score by Cliff Martinez is both classical and nightmarish; like a mix of Bernard Hermann and Jon Brion (bear with me as I have very little knowledge of music) that is reflective of an eternal slumber the characters inhabit when surrounded by technology they cannot wake up from. And with the notion that people are so numb over technology surveilling their every move via audio, the film becomes haunting.

The film is headlined by a fantastic Zoe Kravitz, who underplays the role of Angela to powerful effect. Her portrayal of inner torment in relation to her agoraphobia is subtle and effective while her determination feels organic enjoyably empowering and even her disbelief over the world around her feels amusingly prickly at times.

The supporting roles may be small but they speak volumes of what they are meant to represent eg. Rita Wilson's high ranking company woman who is emblematic of all the office politics and status privilege. Hell, I even like the film's treatment of COVID in its storytelling as it does not ignore but it normalizes it.

Of course, as with all films of this type, KIMI can't help but descend into moments of silliness. However, the assent of Angela feels earned in both performance and foreshadowing that it becomes a lot of fun.

The first real banger of 2022. I loved this film.

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