Sunday, February 11, 2018

Panic Room

Movie Name: Panic Room
Year of Release: 2002
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam, Jared Leto, Ann Magnuson, Patrick Bauchau, Ian Buchanan
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

Following the iconic "Fight Club", David Fincher returned to the screens with "Panic Room", a tight exercise in suspense, featuring a female protagonist, something that his previous films hadn't had, save for his debut, "Alien 3". The film follows the story of Meg Altman, a recently divorcee mother of a teenage girl, who is looking for a new place to live in New York. Both she and her daughter find a beautiful brownstone, that contains a panic room, a space specifically created for when the house is invaded, or when it's occupants feel unsafe. On the night they first move in, the house is broken into by three men, one of them being the grandson of the previous owner. They are looking for 3million dollars in bonds, which are contained in a safe located within the Panic Room. When they begin their invasion, Meg sees the three men coming into the house and takes Sarah, her daughter, to the room, in order to escape. What follows is a cat and mouse game, between the assailants and the resourceful Meg.
As is typically the case with films directed by David Fincher, "Panic Room" is a richly detailed film, where all details are accounted for. The film uses a much tighter canvas to tell this story of a resourceful hero overcoming odds of being pushed, pressured and ultimately forced out of her comfort zone, to come into her own and vanquish those obstacles. It's a common thread to all of Fincher's heroes and leads throughout his features - characters forced out of their comfort zone, facing their fears, and ultimately battling them out. This time around, the always fantastic Jodie Foster embodies the central character, creating in Meg a dutiful and attentive mother, someone who is still recovering from a painful divorce, and who's trying to make the best of what she can for herself and for her daughter. This extraordinary circumstance, forces her to realize that her life is worth defending, and more importantly, her daughter's survival. It's a finely realized film, where the characters of the assailants are not quite flushed out, therefore presenting them more like sketches (though the issue there lies with a poor screenplay). The film features the beautiful cinematography from Conrad W. Hall and Darius Khondji, and the gripping score from Howard Shore. A very good and entertaining film from a terrific film maker.