I know many people who are not interested in experiencing certain negative emotions when watching a film. Sadness is often acceptable as clearly demonstrated by the popularity of dramas but when a film makes us feel scared, angry, confused, anxious or even exhausted, well, that’s not exactly what people tend to look for when they go to the movies.
I like any film that is well made (well, most of the time) and that arouses some emotion in me in a way which is deep and interesting. That can be a film that makes me laugh, a film that makes me cry, a film that takes me away to another world, a film that makes me learn, or a film that profoundly disturbs me and makes me feel uncomfortable.
Imagine heartthrob Ryan Reynolds in one of the most disturbing films i have ever watched. Good on him for trying to change his image by taking on such a challenging role. And what a great job he does, as a convoy driver in Iraq buried alive in a coffin by his kidnappers. Who wants to watch a 90 minutes film about a guy trapped in a coffin? Not many people i gather. But as far as i am concerned, this film is almost a masterpiece. The director Rodrigo Cortés keeps us completed riveted to our seat by using sly camera movements and angles within the coffin and by letting Reynolds express a side of himself that few of us knew he had. I was glued to the screen, my heart pumping, feeling disturbed and uncomfortable, wondering how this would all end. And the ending didn’t disappoint.
There is a time for love, a time for sadness, a time for laughing and once in a while, there are films like Buried that take you somewhere else, somewhere unexpected and disturbing. That’s the beauty of cinema.