“Kimi”

MOVIE REVIEW: “Kimi” stars Zoë Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: First Class), Byron Bowers (No Sudden Move, Honey Boy), Erika Christensen (Traffic, Flightplan), Devin Ratray (Home Alone, Nebraska), Lakin Valdez (Slice, Licorice Pizza), Derek DelGaudio (Vegas [TV series]), Jaime Camil (Jane the Virgin [TV series], Looking for Maria Sanchez), Robin Givens (Boomerang, Blankman), Emily Kuroda (Gilmore Girls [TV series], The Good Doctor [TV series]), Charles Halford (Constantine [TV series], True Detective [TV series]), Jacob Vargas (Heaven Is for Real, Mr. Iglasias [TV series]), and Rita Wilson (Jingle All the Way, Sleepless in Seattle). It is directed by Steven Soderbergh (No Sudden Move, Ocean’s Eleven [2001]) and written by David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible [1996]).

When an agoraphobic tech worker (Kravitz) stumbles across a recording of a supposed rape that has occured, she has to overcome her fears to bring it to light; little does she know that she will be hunted for possessing this scandalous evidence.

Yet another HBO Max original by one Steven Soderbergh, not long after he dropped “No Sudden Move” last year. This time, it’s a smaller story, set in a COVID world and confined to really one central character. I had no idea what to expect going in, as this was one of those blind movie selections; I find those to be fun, as it gives the story a chance to surprise me. With “Kimi,” Soderbergh takes advantage of the small production and makes something interesting.

One of my biggest story turn-offs is the prevelance of modern technology. Seeing characters on smartphones in cinema (particularly the ones that are obsessed and caricatures of modern society) makes me want to throw up. Toss in mask wearing and a reminder of the world we live in today, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster in my book. However, Soderbergh skirts past this with ease, as he hinges this tale on a young woman who struggles with a fear of going outside. Not necessarily of the environmental elements itself, but the mass of people who walk the streets. This is due to her dark past that is later revealed as a big plot point. In making this character specific, I could jive with the story better, and found myself engaged with the character of Angela and the problem she faces.

Spanning a total of an hour and twenty-nine minutes, this is a short feature that makes use of its time. We essentially live a day-in-the-life of Angela (which clearly takes inspiration from Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”), and slowly progress to the task she takes up of delivering an important audio file into the right hands. She’s ultimately hunted, and the thrills are ramped up through the raw, naturalistic style that Soderbergh is comfortable with. To be honest, the foes she faces aren’t that menacing; we don’t really get to know them as the focus is solely on Angela. They are simply portrayed as thugs who hunt her down to take what she has. For the most part, it works, though I will admit that her sudden, powerful ability to fight back raised an eyebrow. One could say that this plays into her backstory (one that isn’t explored all too much), but believability has to be factored in as well.

To me, “Kimi” works in many ways. It’s a tightly-wound, techno thriller that, while it doesn’t leave me on the edge of my seat, keeps me engaged. Kravitz does a great job in her role, as do the supporting characters who fill the small frame. I think a majority of my appreciation of this film lie in its scope; it’s not flashy or big, but simple and effective. Reviews across the internet bash it, claiming it’s predictable, and while I can assume that Angela will come out victorious, the means to the end were interesting to see unfold. And to win me over when you have a narrative set in COVID world and a character who is isolated in her technology? That’s a victory in and of itself. If you are looking for something new and cool to watch (while utilizing a small scope), I’d recommend it. FINAL SCORE: 89%= Juicy Popcorn

Here is the trailer:

One response to ““Kimi”

  1. Pingback: February Movie Rankings | Juicy Reviews·

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