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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "Unsane"

Be careful of what you sign. For instance, if you buy a car from a dealership you end up signing about 15-20 forms, and who truly read every word. So many times, people have signed forms not know they are being scammed or not knowing what they are truly getting themselves into. It’s even worse when it comes to your freedoms and health.

“Unsane” is the new film directed by Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven). Starring Claire Foy (The Crown, Breathe), Joshua Leonard (Togetherness, If I Stay, The Blair Witch Project), Jay Pharoah (Ride Along, Lola Versus, SNL), Juno Temple (Killer Joe, Atonement), Amy Irving (Carrie, Hide & Seek), Polly McKie (Milking It, Composing Life), and Natalie Gold (Becks, Rough Night), it is the story of Sawyer (Foy), who moves to Pennsylvania from Boston to escape a stalker. She has a new job at a bank and few friends, but she is not real social (a pet rock is more friendly than her character). While looking up up support groups for victims of stalking, she finds one that meets at a local mental facility. She talks with a counselor who has her sign some paperwork, but realizes she signed a form committing herself for 24 hours. During that time, they find reasons to keep her for an additional seven days as they decide that “she is a risk”. She befriends another patient named Nate (Pharoah), who informs her of the evil intention of the hospital, driving her further to the edge as she wonders if she really does need to be there.

Since this was shot entirely on an iPhone camera, the film has a more independent feel, with dark lighting and a lot of very tights shots. Most of the film takes place in the facility, which it showed well. The look enhanced the mood of the film, and in some ways I started to feel like I was also stuck in the facility with the characters. Foy does a good job as the lead, playing a person going through emotional turmoil well. I have to give a shout-out to Pharoah who does well as her only friend who seems to have his head on straight as well as Leonard who does well as one of the staff. The supporingt cast who play the other patients like Temple do well as the kinds of people who are five cans short of a six-pack.

It was interesting that the film starts off one way following the trailer, but takes a big turn and the film goes down a different path, which I truly enjoyed. At ninety-seven minutes long, I felt it was the right length as it truly kept me interested. “Unsane” is rated “R” for a reason as it is gritty at times with some real violent scenes, but it works well. There is some suspension of disbelief in the film (for instance, all the patients, male and female, slept in the same big room with no attendant at night), but not too bad overall. I did really enjoy this film more than I thought I would, so I will recommend this film as a twilight showing in the theaters.

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