Review of Unsane (2018) by Benjamin H — 09 Jun 2018
I was very pleasantly surprised by Unsane. No spoilers here, but it's not quite what you would expect from the trailer. The film is meant to revolve around the question of "Is she insane or isn't she?" The answer to that question was revealed sooner than I would have liked, but but that did not stop the tension by any stretch of the imagination.
This is a movie that is not afraid to stoke the fires of discomfort in an audience. The protagonist, Sawyer Valentini, is placed in a situation that every normal person dreads the thought of: being involuntarily committed to a mental hospital when she is convinced that she is fine. It's horrifying, and naturally she tries to do everything she can to get out, and some of the things she does are morally questionable, to say the least. It gets to the point where you aren't quite sure if the main character is actually a villain in her own way as well. It's full of thought-provoking moral themes that cause you to question if anyone in the film is really a "good guy." The plot is entirely unpredictable and has an ending that causes you to go back and rethink everything that had happened up to that point. It makes for uncomfortable yet completely engaging viewing. The cinematography is some of the most unique camera work I have ever seen. Unsane was shot entirely on the iPhone 7 Plus and that results in an aspect ratio that causes the screen to look more like a box as opposed to traditional widescreen cinema. This box-like view matches perfectly with the theme of mental and physical confinement in the film and this, combined with the iPhone's camera quality makes it feel more authentic, like the audience is really there with Sawyer through her ordeal.
Claire Foy and Joshua Leonard do a fantastic job playing the two troubled leads, and the supporting cast is all authentic as well. They all work wonderfully together to drag viewers with them into the dark, uncomfortable setting that they play out.
Unsane does have its flaws: the wonderful actors were not blessed with an equally adept script and though the story does have its share of twists and turns, the second act does drag on for quite some time and the final act seems to end too abruptly. But it's an unexpectedly successful psychological thriller that never gives in to an audience's assumptions.
Entertainment Value: 7.5.
MY RATING: 7.6/10.
Unsane has generally received positive reviews.
Was this review helpful?