A tech worker with agoraphobia discovers recorded evidence of a violent crime, but is met with resistance when she tries to report it. Seeking justice, she must do the thing she fears the most: she must leave her apartment.
I heard about Kimi, Steven Soderbergh’s next movie starring Zoe Kravitz in the lead role. I heard some very positive things about it, and I was interested. I was surprised at how great it was, an effective thriller with tense sequences. It’s short and sweet and good for what it is.
Kimi is tightly and sharply written, very well constructed and put together. It really is the paranoid surveillance thriller updated for the modern age. The movie puts you right in the position of the protagonist played by Zoe Kravitz, you really feel her anxiety and everything she goes through. One thing very notable aspect about the movie is it takes place during the COVID-19 pandemic and incorporates that into the plot. While that might give some people pause considering the numerous unwanted movies based around the pandemic that have been releasing over the past couple of years, I thought Kimi handled it well and it didn’t feel heavy handed. It felt appropriate enough for the movie, and while it could’ve worked without the pandemic aspect, it does somewhat add to the character’s fear of going outside. The pacing is pretty smooth, there is a steady build up in the first act as it establishes the setting and the main character, some might be bored with that first section, but I thought that it achieved what it needed to. However, it really picks up after the first act when the protagonist is forced to leave her apartment. The final act is satisfying but a bit out of place and was very different in tone, like it is from a different movie. The ending was fine but also did feel a bit too neat and tidy. At 89 minutes Kimi is short and sweet. It could’ve been longer and explored the themes and topics it briefly touches upon over the course of the movie, but I do really like how straightforward and simple it was.
Zoe Kravitz is in the lead role, and this is very likely her best performance yet. Playing a tech worker with agoraphobia, Kravitz keeps you hooked from beginning to end. She conveys her anxiety effectively and her physicality is particularly effective, especially when she’s walking and running around outside. So much of this movie is riding on her performance, and she more than delivers. I will say that the rest of the cast aren’t anything special and are serviceable at best. However, this is really Kravitz’s movie.
Steven Soderbergh’s direction is strong, very stylish and unique. Soderbergh is excellent at building up tension, particularly with the use of visuals and sound. The camerawork is fantastic with effective camera angles, particularly with amazing uses of low angle shots (mainly during the chase scenes). It has impressive and immersive sound design, little things like sound changes when Kravitz puts on or removes headphones just really add to the experience. Also helping is the solid score from the ever-reliable Cliff Martinez, whose score really add something to the tone and feeling of the movie.
Kimi is a tense and tight thriller, very well constructed on a writing and directing front, made better by an incredible lead performance from Zoe Kravitz. There are some issues like the third act feeling out of place and most of the supporting cast being fine at best. Outside of that, it is really good and worth checking out.