Monday 17 July 2023

Kimi [2022]

 Kimi was a decidedly topical film with its anxiety-ridden, agoraphobic, work-from-home protagonist struggling to segue into the “new normal”, residing in a hyper-connected yet intensely dislocated world seeped in everyday surveillance, smart devices recording incessantly, and micro-artifice of zoom calls. Yet, as a paranoia and conspiracy thriller in the mould of 70s and 80s classics – albeit repurposed to a post-pandemic, late-stage capitalist milieu where unregulated market forces, corporate malfeasance, nefarious cover-ups and gullible consumers are par for course – it was also a lean, sleek and smart genre exercise. Steven Soderberg, who’s made a prolific career out of flying under the radar on most occasions and interpreting the human condition, was possibly the right person behind cameras for this evocation of dystopia operating in the present tense. Angela (Zoë Kravitz) – who made for a captivating heroine with her blazing blue-dyed hair, smartness, quirks, vulnerabilities, self-imposed isolation and defiant agency – is a highly capable techie who works out of her sprawling, spartan apartment in Seattle – her professional and private spaces having subsumed within one another interchangeably – for a flourishing Silicon Valley startup that’s developed a creepy virtual assistant called KIMI that’s selling like hot cakes, while also garnering controversy for resorting to human monitoring to enhance its algorithm. Her controlled, staid and estranged post-Covid life, however, gets blown apart upon stumbling across incidents of sexual violence recorded by the device that refreshes memories of a past trauma, and which the company’s CEO, on the verge of going into a money-spinning IPO, is desperate to bury. The film, led by Kravitz’s spunky turn, reminded me of the De Palma gem Blow Out, despite its conventional finale and without the latter’s pulpy brilliance.

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Genre: Thriller/Crime Thriller

Language: English

Country: US

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