Kimi

I wasn’t exactly gunning to watch a film set in our current pandemic-riddled times, where a young woman is dealing with the “hashtag relatable” struggle of extreme paranoia, anxiety, and panic attacks. However, putting all that aside, Steven Soderbergh’s Kimi was pretty legit. 

Again though, much like the film Minari, I just felt the ending was too abrupt. As soon as the arc of the story unfolded and all the action came to an exciting conclusion – BAM – it’s over. Why not tie up more of the loose ends? The 2ish minute sequence that followed was, I suppose, meant to show us that the main character is happy now and living her best life, but I still felt cheated somehow. 

Kimi (2022) stars Zoë Kravitz as Angela Childs, a young woman working for a tech company comparable to Amazon. After seeing Kravitz’s performance here, I’m really looking forward to watching her kick ass in the new Batman movie this Spring. She was edgy, powerful, and whip smart. The perfect choice to star in this thriller-mystery-suspense film. 

Angela works from home (per Covid) debugging code for Kimi, a smart speaker eerily similar to Amazon’s Alexa device. Her job is to listen to recordings from Kimi users and fix instances where the speaker doesn’t register the correct response.

Aside from working, exercising, and occasionally hooking up with her neighbor across the street, Angela’s life is pretty isolated. Although she’s seeing a therapist, she still has trouble coping with her fears, and it’s so bad that she’s unable to leave her apartment. It’s also noted that she was sexually assaulted, which only contributes to her condition. She takes medication, but as debilitating panic attacks continue to plague her, Angela remains secluded and immersed in her work. 

One evening while reviewing her streams, Angela comes across a very noisy recording. She can tell something is wrong, so she works feverishly to isolate the voices in the background and make out what is being said. 

Meanwhile, we see a random dude in the building across the street who’s been watching her, and we’re left to wonder what his deal is. Is he just a creep? Is he a spy? Or just another socially anxious introvert holed up in his apartment and bored (but also still creepy for watching her lol)?

Once Angela can clearly discern the voices, she is convinced what she is hearing is a violent murder. Who are these people? Why did this happen? As the plot unfolds, Angela learns some terrifying truths about the crime.

Meanwhile, concerned with her discovery, she decides she must take action. Now, the thrill and suspense abound as Angela is physically and metaphorically forced to step outside her comfort zone and seek justice for this heinous act. 

Bold camera angles give us a sense of the chaos Angela feels as we follow her on this hour-and-a-half long thrill ride.

One of the things that pleased me most about this movie was that I didn’t feel Angela was making “stupid” mistakes. Her actions were intelligent, and I felt they realistically reflected the thought process someone might have. What would you do first? Call a trusted coworker? Would you make a copy of the recording? Several copies? Would you bring it to your employer? If your employer didn’t react the way you expected or you felt your life was in danger, would you still return home?

Instead of shouting angrily at my tv screen, I rejoiced in Angela’s quick thinking and courageous actions. This movie is a nerve-wracking but satisfying thriller whose success is due mainly to the dynamic acting of Zoë Kravitz, some artistic camera work, and realistic plot development. It’s thoroughly enjoyable, even with its mildly unsatisfying ending.

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