Kimi review: Modern-day take of Rear Window with a twist
Kimi directed by Steven Soderbergh, tells the story of Angela Childs (played by Zoë Kravitz), who works from home monitoring current data streams received from an Alexa-type device called Kimi.
Kimi directed by Steven Soderbergh, tells the story of Angela Childs (played by Zoë Kravitz), who works from home monitoring current data streams received from an Alexa-type device called Kimi. Her job is to check any recordings picked up from those devices and make bug fixes for the software operating Kimi devices. Angela suffers from agoraphobia which only got worse thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once she receives a recording that looks like an attempted assault, she later realizes she might be in danger as she could've stumbled across a giant conspiracy.
So right off the bat, the movie runs with a ridiculously lean 89-minute runtime, which some of us could easily find accessible. But for me, I have mixed feelings as the first third of the movie doesn't actually have any eventful moments up until Angela discovers that stream that could change her life.
Sure, it gives her a character and Kravitz does a great job as the anxious-driven Angela, but the first third of the plot concentrates on the monotony of the job and her personal life getting interfered with due to both her phobia and the job she's working on.
It robs most of the tension initially and I was wondering if this is another "big-tech is bad" movie we've been getting these past few years. Soderbergh nowadays relies on filmmaking tech-gimmicks to sell his movie and here it's no different. Sometimes, it acts as a deterrent (The Laundromat) while at times they're super-efficient in the content with which it is presented (Contagion and Unsane fall under this category). Kimi meets halfway there, to a point you could argue it nearly becomes the latter but by the time it gets there, the movie's already over.
Written by David Koepp, the latter 2 acts begin to tighten when Angela decides to uncover the conspiracy by moving out of her home, and the camera here helps us identify Angela's constant paranoia when the camera is shot in Dutch angles but with a rough movement following her around. It also wears the influences this movie has taken from and proudly views as a homage, be it the neighbors snooping around like Rear Window, hearing private conversations to a point of hearing a potential crime like The Conversation, and of course Soderbergh's own Unsane.
Kravitz embodies Angela perfectly, and her fears are justified due to a past incident that traumatizes her to a point her movement is stiff and anxious. The rest of the cast are blink and miss as this is basically a housebound thriller.
The thing which I surprisingly liked is although the device Kimi could be considered an unethical product that steals people's privacy without even us knowing, the movie also flips around by making the device "save" Angela from danger. She knows she signed up for something unethical but when she realizes that she herself has been spied on, her trust within breaks as well as her fears are ringing true.
Kimi could've complimented a longer runtime (at least 15 minutes or so) but with what we've got, I think this is an okay movie to recommend.