Title: You Were Never Really Here
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller, Violent.
Main Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, Ekaterina Samsonov.
Runtime: 90 mins
MDb rating: 6.8/10.
My rating: 7/10.
Quick summary: The things he sees while tracking down missing girls for a living adds to this ex-soldier’s already wounded psyche. A conspiracy that threatens the lives of the few loved ones he has pushes him over the edge.
Oddly similar to The Joker, Phoenix plays Joe, a lonely man that lives with his ailing mother. He works as a finder of missing girls and will do anything within his means to find them. He is recruited to find the missing daughter of a prominent politician but soon things start to go awry. After being set up, losing the ones he was closest to and learning the horrible truth about what was really going on, he sets out on one last mission to bring the girl to safety.
Joaquin Phoenix has found his niche, I believe, with these mentally challenged characters he plays. The Joker, which I mentioned above, was one of the top films of 2019. It drew criticism from some corners of the web for the way it portrayed mental health but in my opinion it was done well. It wasn’t my favourite film but the harsh music and jumpy storyline really sold the uneasiness that comes with dealing with a person who is not fully mentally capable in an unfamiliar situation.
This film also features an etremely aggravating soundtrack. Jonny Greenwood, the composer and lead guitarist with Radiohead, makes our spines shiver and our hairs stay permanently on edge throughout. Harsh strings and banging drums make any scene possibly nightmarish.
A lot of scenes are filmed with dark tints and colours, foreshadowing the evil deeds and blood that will be spilt. We begin in a spoiled motel room and are immediately uneasy. That sense of unease never leaves you throughout the film.
Although the film ends on a somewhat happy note, we can be sure that after the film, Joe and Nina will not have a normal journey. The film itself is not normal. There are some anxiety inducing scenes and the portrayal of PTSD is almost terrifying. I didn’t love this movie, but I did appreciate the way it was filmed and acted. There are a few scenes that might seem odd at first but after thinking about it and linking it to Joe’s knowledge of death, they begin to make sense.
This is on Netlfix UK & Ireland. I would recommend it, as I do with most of my reviews. However, be prepared for an hour and a half of feeling uneasy and on edge.
While I have you here….Please check out my podcast! Every Monday I review a different movie, but more importantly I talk a bit of muck and have a bit of fun! Yesterday I talked about The Wife and some t.v. shows that I’ve been streaming on Netflix. Let me know what you think. Thanks again for listening. Stay safe and stay inside.