Hey friends, happy Friday! We caught a late showing last night of a little independent film directed by Steven Soderberg called "Unsane" (2018). What I really like about Soderberg's directing and production is that he always manages to push the envelope and tries different techniques with film and storytelling. Soderberg has brought us great films like Traffic (2000) starring Don Cheadle and Benicio Del Torro and Side Effects (2013) starring Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum and Jude Law. What many of his films do is focus on a human flaw or set of flaws. The film becomes the showcase for the audience to see how the character(s) maneuver these flaws for the better or worse of said character's plight.
In "Unsane" the main character Sawyer Valentini, played by Clair Foy, suffers from paranoia brought on by a stalker from her past. She moves to a new town and starts a new job all to distract her from what has occurred. What Unsane does is highlight how paranoia is a real thing that can seemingly lead to other mental health symptoms and issues. Throughout the entire film we are entertained by how Sawyer maneuvers her mental affliction.
Claire Foy and Jay Pharoh "Unsane" (2018)
The story really takes off when Sawyer is invouluntarily admitted to a mental institution. She was there to get counseling for her past ordeal. Sawyer signs something that she did not read and gets admitted, joining the population of other mental patients. She is constantly questioning the reasoning behind her admittance to the mental health facility. This is what I love about psychological thrillers, the main character believes they know what's going on and so does the audience, but the supporting cast does not believe the main character's point of view, making for many tense situations that cause everyone involved to question everything.
The cons of Unsane are several little plot holes that leave one to question how thorough the writing and editing was. We had a few questions, but were more so entertained by the character's attempt at holding on to her sanity. Unsane is nothing new when it comes to the "What's real/Whats not"scenario but at 97 minutes you may stay interested for that time frame.
The pro for me as a guy who loves camera work is the creativity with tight camera shots that move the film along quite well. We are put in very tight, close proximity points of view. This seems to be an attempt by the director to make the audience feel as though we are stalking the main character's life. How were they able to create such tight shots in odd locations on the set...?
The entire film was shot with an iPhone! This is a must see for this technical feet. Check it out! You actually might forget that the film is being shot using a mobile device...