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The Film Stage
What first appeared to be a fun riff on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest soon transforms into something much darker.
We’re in schlock corridor here and Soderbergh runs with it, cellphone in hand; under the buzzing suspense mechanics, however, a cautionary note on the perils of disbelieving women is just audible.
Unsane brims with curiosity about digital technology, discomfort with corporate bureaucracies, and is spiked through and through with icy wit – in short, it could never be anything but a Soderbergh film, and a particularly delicious one at that.
Even Unsane's most ridiculous moments coast on the sheer energy of Steven Soderbergh's aesthetic gamesmanship.
Topicality is not mandatory, and it’s clear the agenda here is for salacious genre thrills rather than anything deeper or more profound, but when the film’s form is such an embrace of modernity, it feels like cognitive dissonance to have the story skew so old-fashioned.
An adroit, and trashy thriller leached of all its significance by a plot that spirals uncontrollably into lunacy, Unsane takes the feverish temperature of a country enraged by sexual harassment and decides to turn up the heat.
Admirers of Soderbergh’s experimental tendency will applaud the film’s execution – it was shot on the iPhone 7 Plus – while this story of a tenacious woman fighting all odds should have added appeal in this #MeToo moment. For a mainstream genre piece, however, the narrative execution is a little too cavalier to guarantee audience satisfaction.
The absurdity and the galaxy of plot holes in the farcical final act just undermine everything.
The Hollywood Reporter
Unsane is a dispiritingly pedestrian woman-in-peril shocker to have come from such a maverick filmmaker.
It’s rough, to say the least, and that’s not just a matter of hasty visuals: the whole thing feels provisional and half-hearted, like a scrunched-up charcoal sketch.
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