Watch You Were Never Really Here
- 1 hr 25 min
You Were Never Really Here is a 2017 film directed by Lynne Ramsay and stars Joaquin Phoenix in a gripping, suspenseful and psychological thriller. The movie follows Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) - a former combat veteran and ex-FBI agent turned mercenary who is hired to rescue young girls held in captivity by human trafficking rings. Joe spends most of his time rescuing the girls from their captors, but the film is not about that. Instead, the audience sees Joe confronting his past traumas unfolding in flashbacks of his childhood experiences, his time in war, and the reasons why he chose this path in life. As Joe delves deeper into his psyche, the film slowly builds an intense sense of dread and tension that is reminiscent of classic Hollywood thrillers.
One of the most striking elements of You Were Never Really Here is the way it portrays Joe's emotional turmoil. Joaquin Phoenix's performance is raw and visceral, and he easily captures the damaged psyche of his character. The audience is given glimpses of Joe's past via flashbacks, where the events of the movie are depicted in a fragmented, confusing manner that leaves the viewer wondering whether it's only Joe's imagination or reality.
The action scenes in the film are brutal, graphic, and unflinching, often showing the aftermath rather than the violence itself. Lynne Ramsay's direction masterfully uses sound effects and music to enhance the moments of violence and keep the tension high. The sound design is disorienting, jump-scaring the viewer in the right moments, and cranking the pressure even higher.
The character of Joe is complex and multi-dimensional. He is not the typical hero that people are used to seeing in action movies. He is a man who has been scarred by his past and is still dealing with the effects of those experiences. Phoenix portrays Joe as a tormented soul, and we see him trying to cope with his PTSD and other issues. His methods may be a little unorthodox, but his goal is to rescue the girls, regardless of the consequences.
Judy (Judith Roberts), a kind elderly lady that Joe has a close relationship with, grounds Joe in his humanity. Though she's only in a handful of scenes, Judith Roberts' affecting performance gives the film a much-needed sense of tenderness and pathos. Ekaterina Samsonov plays Nina, a teenage girl who is abducted, and she gives a remarkable performance as well, portraying Nina's trauma with a range of emotions.
You Were Never Really Here could be described as a neo-noir thriller, evocative of classic Hollywood films, but that would not do justice to its uniqueness. It's a film that is unpredictable, manages to keep the viewer on edge, and also renders its main character in a deeply humanizing way that allows the audience to empathize with his choices.
In conclusion, You Were Never Really Here is an intense and gripping thriller that fundamentally examines the traumas of a broken protagonist. Phoenix delivers a powerhouse performance as Joe, while Ramsay's direction creates an atmospheric and brutal world that constantly catches us off guard. The film is not for everyone, but if you're looking for a tense and uncompromising thriller with fantastic performances and an arresting visual style, then this movie is the right choice.
You Were Never Really Here is a 2018 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 84.