Kimi (2022) Review

Kimi Review 2
Kimi Review
Director(s): Steven Soderbergh
Actor(s): Zoë Kravitz, Rita Wilson, Devin Ratray
Film Genre(s): Thriller
Running Time: 149 min
CGM Editors Choice

I’m a simple man: I see a Steven Soderbergh film, I watch it.

This time around he’s back at it with Kimi: a thriller involving Angela (Zoe Kravitz), a woman who witnesses a crime (digitally) and has Cassandra-like issues getting anyone to actually answer for it. Her problems are exacerbated by her inability to leave her home and social troubles amid the Seattle district she lives in.

Kimi Review 3

While a “COVID movie” is very iffy territory, Soderbergh handles it masterfully. The pandemic is merely background noise, as this is essentially the tale of an agoraphobic protagonist; a setup that can work universally. Angela listens to streams of “Kimi,” a Siri/Alexa-like program, and discovers something sinister.

“Angela listens to streams of “Kimi,” a Siri/Alexa-like program, and discovers something sinister.”

It’s a lot to juggle. It’s a commentary on tech, isolation, and social issues: it has a full plate! “Screenlife” films have been around for a while now, but Kimi elevates that with a hybrid effect. Angela has to eventually leave the house and deal with everything that entails, and the journey is nerve-wracking. But we also get strong supporting performances throughout, both on and off-screen, that augment Kravitz’s very demanding role.

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I was surprised at how well it worked. Because of the marriage of Angela’s character and Kravitz’s performance, nearly everything is amplified. Even small occurrences can be a big deal, and the big deals are bigger deals. We also get to see the world through her eyes, as nearly everyone in her orbit treats her with coldness or a dulled scorn. We get to emphasize with her and connect to her, and even her movements add a ton of character to Angela: a lot of work went into this performance.

I would have been fine with Angela staying in the apartment the entire time, but once she leaves, it gets even more intense. The uneasy camerawork isn’t quite “shaky,” and sets the tone for her arc. The best part is that all of these elements are balanced. Nothing feels too preachy, and the film doesn’t linger on any one thing. Instead, it’s moving forward, as the script weaves in and out of those issues with grace. With a lesser director at the helm, and a different lead, Kimi would have been a lot less interesting. Soderbergh always keeps us captivated, never wasting our time with tight editing to boot (credited under his pseudonym Mary Ann Bernard). It’s an easy watch and another feather in his cap.

Final Thoughts


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