Critique of “Kimi” (2022) by Steven Soderbergh

Review of the movie “Kimi” by Steven Soderbergh with Zoe Kravitz produced by HBO Max.

The movie kimi by Steven Soderbergh is full of topicality. Frighteningly familiar images everywhere: The CEO of the high-tech company Amydala Corporation, who connects with the press from his home office at first, wears his business suit on top, and a slovenly look on the bottom. lower; in the middle, people in front of their workstations at home, one yelling at their children for interrupting a meeting, another with the fridge just within reach. “Your life is simplified” is once written on a billboard: the coronavirus is everywhere, even in the cinema.

In this 89-minute thriller, the pandemic is the background noise of a historical-film update. kimi turns out to be a kind of Big Data variant of rear window of Hitchcock. Back then it was the wheelchair-bound James Stewart who thought he had witnessed a murder across the street, but here the agoraphobic heroine Angela Childs (Zoë Kravitz), who is confined to her flat, is digitally eavesdropping. The blue-haired girl tweaks Amydala Corporation’s Kimi voice assistant by listening to old conversations and, if the Alexa-like device gets something wrong, tweaking the source code. In one of the recordings, the screams of a woman (a violent crime?) can be heard, which are of little interest to her superior.

Soderbergh turns the obvious and unsurprising material, scripted by David Koepp, into a film that transitions from character study to brilliant paranoia thriller. For the first half of the film we are with Angela in her spacious loft, looking out through the windows and following the captive woman, brushed by efficiency and eerily embodied by a Kravitz full of inner tension. The dentist, like the psychologist, has to diagnose by videoconference; immediately after sex with the lover across the hall (Byron Bowers), she remakes her bed.

As Childs goes about his work, we receive information about his surroundings, his neighbors and his window watchers; seemingly normal things that are so important. Steven Soderbergh is a director who controls his material, because not a single minute of this thriller is wasted, not a single frame of this film is wasted.

It’s such that you don’t feel the 20 minutes that have passed when Childs meets a haunting voice. He deduces that something is terribly wrong and he tries to get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately, to get to the bottom of it, he must face his fears and leave his apartment.

A fairly mundane task, but Soderbergh establishes why it’s a challenge for his aqua-haired protagonist. In the first fifteen minutes, in which she tries to meet with her friend, she can’t get out of it. Kravitz’s performance conveys her fear to those behind the fourth wall, and the set has props that reflect her inner state.

He has that slight edge to his walk that conveys his phobia well. She doesn’t have any self-confidence and tries to go unnoticed. Her hands, placed on her thighs, lean towards the side she wants to approach. Of course, this feat is a bit of an impossibility, as she would stand out anywhere thanks to her hair color.

Once she summons her will, the photograph becomes chaotic. Peter Andrews’ (pseudonym for Sodenbergh himself) camera shakes too much, as if to convey a sense of overwhelming sensory overload from it. You may get dizzy at this point and need to pause and gather your senses, exactly as Soderbergh intended you to do. This is so despite not having acrophobia. It’s a chore to sit through, but what about having to run away?

The common story of kimi of humans against giant companies is something that can make everyone stop and think about how they are living. The scenes in which he faces a human fear, in which he receives a friend, argues with a neighbor, has a talk with his mother, and engages in a consultation with a psychiatrist and his dentist through two pointers, they convey the message that Angela Childs is one of us.

David Koepp’s writing incorporates elements of protest, very credible and unprecedented. This ensures that Kimi feel original. The second half of the film will not be accused of rushing or dragging to the point of breaking the suspense. The chase sequence is not stretched out, the ending sequence retains the professionalism and non-nonsense elements of both parts. Also, the opening part of the movie doesn’t feel dragged in any way.

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