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December 18, 2018, 06:56:48 PM

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: You Were Never Really Here (2017)  ( 178 )
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« : March 09, 2018, 04:40:45 PM »

Seen at cinema 6/10


Going to do some shopping for Easter in Birmingham,I decided to take a look at what was screening at the oldest cinema in the UK (The Electric.) Previously hearing about her from the infamous walk-off on the interesting Western Jane Got A Gun,I was intrigued to find writer/director Lynne Ramsay's new title being screened,which led to me finding out if you were really here.

View on the film:

Backed by the unsettling, screeching hum of Jonny Greenwood's Industrial score,writer/director Lynne Ramsay & cinematographer Thomas Townend wash the filth from the street in grainy digital, that gives the movie a visceral grubby atmosphere, as Joe searches backstreet buildings covered in grime,and the short,sharp shots of violence burn in dried red. Tracking Joe's shattered glass mind, Ramsay reflects his past in jagged flashbacks, with the rough edges strongly suggesting,but not fully revealing,what was there in Joe's childhood.

Caked in a scraggy beard, Joaquin Phoenix gives an excellent performance as Joe,whose Noir loner outlook is fuelled by Phoenix giving Joe a dead to the world gaze,which strikes with each hammer blow he gives to the scum of the earth. Finding an empathetic connection with Nina, (played by a very good Ekaterina Samsonov) Phoenix allows Joe to express care for Nina,whilst always remaining aware of the tar-pit they are trapped in.  Taking the wheel from Jonathan Ames’s novel,the screenplay by Ramsay aims to examine the psychological side of Joe,but misses the mark with consistent “borrowing” from Taxi Driver. Suggesting that Joe is a damaged war vet,Ramsay is unable to avoid drawing from Taxi Driver’s child prostitute,pimps,loners and corrupt politicians in the most empty manner possible,with Ramsay failing to give any additional depth to the themes explored in Taxi. Weaving flashbacks to Joe’s abusive childhood, Ramsay’s attempt to give Joe a psychological depth disappointingly fails to fully alight, due to Joe’s fight to protect Nina not becoming fully thread with his own past,which was never really here…  

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