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You Were Never Really Here (2017)

You Were Never Really Here (2017)


Joaquin Phoenix

Directed by Lynne Ramsay

This movie with a mouthful for a title is a good enough film to watch from the moment things start to get twisted/interesting. The buildup which were meant to be cinematic, engaging and thrilling in the way the flashbacks were edited in, could be seen as a drag or distraction.
We get to spend a considerable amount of time getting to know how twisted the mind of our anti-hero, Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is. This time is shared between, getting to see his relationship with his mother, flashbacks between his times as a child with an abusive father and when he was in the military.

Before we get started on the plot, I want you to recall that Joaquin Phoenix over the years has proven to be a fantastic actor. He is good at delivering performances in different movies genres that only a few actors can deliver on.
This movie is also a true test of how good an actor he is. Starting with us getting to see a hired gun who spends his time after leaving the military rescuing people. Joe is not mentally stable though, wanting so much to kill himself and end his existence as he struggles with flashbacks of his abusive father, who was abusive to him and his mother.
He now lives with his aged mother, taking care of her and even though he desires to be dead – her being alive in a way kept him going.

He was given a job, to rescue a girl of a senator. The senator himself asked him to save his daughter who had been kidnapped by a child sex trafficking ring.
Him getting involved was he believing the problem was equal in intensity like the other ones he had helped people with. He was unaware that the child sex trafficking ring gave services to men in the high up office of the government and the girl he was asked to rescue, Nina was the favorite of a top government official.
From this point of the movie to the very end, it gets very intense and the editing became topnotch. As we transpired between flashbacks and present, with a musical score that was well blended into the film.

After saving the girl the government official sent the police and other agents to kill him, bring back the girl and kill everyone Joe works with. The attempt to kill Joe did not go well with the officer as Joe attacked him and escaped while Nina was kidnaped again.

Now Joe must deal with the aftermath of the police tracking him down to his home and the urge to save Nina. The movie is very short and many things that you would have expected to happen in between the time Joe went looking for Nina and when he found her didn’t. Instead the movie had an ending that was surprising and worth a good pat on the back for the Lynne Ramsay. Ramsay directed and wrote the screenplay for this book adaptation.
In 2017 Cannes Film Festival Ramsay won the Best Screenplay award and Phoenix won the award for Best Actor for this movie.


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