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TV/Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Kimi’ (dir. Steven Soderbergh) on HBO Max

Subdued but simultaneously compelling, ‘Kimi’ had a plan, it knew what it wanted to do, and it executed it. It didn’t need to be more than 90 minutes long, and it was the better for its compact presentation.

Subdued but simultaneously compelling, Kimi had a plan, it knew what it wanted to do, and it executed it. It didn’t need to be more than 90 minutes long, and it was the better for its compact presentation. With long stretches without much dialogue-driven narrative, it didn’t feel lacking at all. Also — this is how you do a COVID-era movie.

I loved how they tied the pandemic element in without making it a big deal but still touched on it because, duh, we’re in the middle of a pandemic and that impacted the storyline and the mental health of our main character. It was kind of in a contained location, but it didn’t feel like it. Even with a limited cast, though, there were still some neat surprises with Rita Wilson popping up and an intense action sequence that came out of nowhere.

I was afraid it was going to lean too much into the “Alexa is always on” and “Siri is listening to me” genre, but it approached it in such a nuanced way that I’ve never seen before and felt fresh. The trailer made me fear this would feel like a Black Mirror episode, but, thankfully, it had its own sense of charm and horror and social commentary to stand on its own. It’s definitely a modern-day take on a tech thriller, and while it is certainly elevated drama, it still felt real and the intensity was palpable.

Zoë Kravitz bends and moves with grace through every part of this, and I was so entranced by how I could almost see the gears turning in her character’s head.

Steven Soderbergh never felt scared to take this weird little premise of a film and push it beyond those barriers. The cinematography, score, and color work really stood out to me for a number of reasons, and they make this pop.

Kimi is now streaming exclusively on HBO Max.

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