Updated: Mar 24
Netflix's latest offering is a far cry from the action packed, star-studded hits we're used to, yet it holds its own against their other recent releases. Jason Segel, Jesse Plemons and Lily Collins star in this stripped back, suspense filled social drama. Exploring the gulf in class between the tech billionaires of America and the working class, the film discusses the lengths people will go to for a better life, as well as the effects of wealth on mental wellbeing.
Directed by the leading lady's husband, Charlie McDowell, the film showcases a stunning house in California, home to the fictional businessman played by Plemons, simply listed in the casting as “CEO”. The film follows the events of a simple robbery gone wrong. Segel, listed as “nothing”, breaks into the property, believing it to be unoccupied. When the owner and his wife (Collins) arrive home to his surprise, a kidnapping takes place. Despite the lack of action, a tense atmosphere is created throughout the film, largely thanks to the music score. Ominous tones are played for the majority of the proceedings, combined with innovative cinematography to turn a simple idea into something that can capture the viewer‘s attention. With a few shocking twists, genuine dread can be felt whilst watching the story unfold. The viewer’s loyalty is tested and it can be unclear who to feel sympathy for, which only adds to the tension.
It's clear throughout this was a film shot through the pandemic, using just three characters and one set. In an age of films packed with action sequences and high drama, this relatively slow burner may not be to everyone's preference. Driven largely by the dialogue, its important to pay close attention. With that being said, I felt real emotion whilst watching characters that I could feel a great deal of sympathy for.
Square Eyes rating: 7, an entertaining and thought provoking watch.
Star of the show: Jesse Plemons delivered an exciting performance full of emotion in his first lead role in a Netflix original.