Put this on the list of movies to show people what it means to be a cinematic film. This movie chugs along at a captivating pace purely based on the visuals, the editing, the cinematography, and some impressive stylistic choices. That's Director Screenwriter Lynne Ramsay at work, and proves why she's one of the most exciting film makers around right now.
There's violence in this movie, but you don't see gratuitous violence displayed. There's a lot of world building, but it's done in very subtle ways. There's a lot of plot to digest, but the story itself is pretty straightforward. There isn't a lot of dialogue, but they are hardly ever irrelevant. The movie's premise is very dark, but it doesn't hit you over the head with it; well that's debatable I guess. The delicate but deliberate way this story is told to us is impressive, from the b-roll heavy set-up from the first third of the movie, to the way the rest of the plot plays out, plus that ending.
Although there are several supporting characters involved here, it is Joaquin Phoenix that stands out over all. Although he is generally intense most of the movie, he is able to convey other emotions so very well, as this man suffering from traumatic past experiences. You should be absolutely captivated and invested in what happens to him here. Truly a remarkable role for Phoenix.
If there is one thing that might keep this from being a movie you might want to watch over and over again, it's the subject matter. Some people; like myself, might consider it a little too exaggerated, that leads to some questionable plot developments and resolutions; or lack thereof. On the flip side, what we see in the movie has very very very plausible elements to it, which also makes it the more heartbreaking and frightening to comprehend.
I've never read the Jonathan Ames novel that this is adapted from, but once again kudos to Lynne Ramsay for making "You Were Never Really Here." What an exhilarating cinematic film that's like a dark rabbit hole that you just have to experience.
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