I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)
Reader Rating (Rate Here): [Total: 2 Average: 4/5]
Directed By: Macon Blair
Cast: Melaine Lynskey, Elijah Wood, David Yow, Jane Levy, Devon Graye, Christine Woods, Robbert Longstreet, Gary Anthony Williams
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore is one movie which goes with the ideology “Revenge is the dish best served cold” and Korean directors are the best in exploiting this theme: be it Park Chan Wook’s Vengeance Thrillers or Kim Jee-Woon’s I Saw The Devil. Apart from them there have been some movies here and there (A Wednesday, Kill Bill) but almost everyone has claimed to have been inspired by the Koreans. This movie like the ones mentioned above is of the “what happens when the common man being pushed to the breaking point fights back?”genre.
Ruth Kimke (Melaine Lynskey), an ordinary citizen/common woman, is a nursing assistant. She is having a bad day as one of her patients dies, then on the way back she gets stuck in traffic, then in a bar the guy she befriends (mistaking his intentions) reveals the suspense of the thriller novel that she is reading. (I know this pain especially during the Game of Thrones days, when I have to stay out of Facebook and Twitter which are full of spoilers). And then coming home she realizes that she has been robbed. This Netflix original has a lot of patience, it builds up the frustrations of Ruth slowly and steadily. The movie has a medium pace and never deviates from it, floating steadily throughout.
The stakes for the revenge are not high but it is not about getting the stolen items back and more about confronting the person who entered your house uninvited and disturbed the sanctity of your home. Once that happens you can’t feel at peace in this world anymore. Ruth takes the matters into her hands when the detective on her case William Bendix (Gary Anthony Williams) chastises her for leaving her door open. She befriends Tony (Elijah Wood), a nunchucks and ninja stars wielding weirdo who you would probably always ignore in the neighborhood. He is the barking dog who would never bite. But he is the perfect Samwise Gamjee to Ruth’s Frodo and together they embark on a journey to get her precious back.
Blair’s plot is convoluted, every moment takes you to a different subplot- all finally culminating in a Mexican standoff leading to a chase. How it ends and does she finally find some peace makes up the rest of the movie. The beauty of the movie is in the small moments- small little details and habits which are shown in the build up to a major scene. The narration is somewhat like Breaking Bad, the build up scenes are haunting while the main turning- point scenes are absurdly hilarious.
Melaine Lynskey has given a standout performance, I know her from Two and a Half Men and Heavenly Creatures, there is a weird intensity in her facial expressions which give away her rage. She is like that kid who when suddenly stands up to a bully has your sympathy and concern because you know she is going to get beaten black and blue. But she is tenacious and manages to find out her culprit.
Also a stand out performance from Christine Woods as Meredith, the thief’s stepmom, who was a famous model in her time and now just a trophy wife. Her reason for entertaining Ruth and Tony even though knowing them to be impersonators will crack you up.
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore has a Coen brothers type neo noir feel and pace and it is a weirdly compelling watch. Watch it when in mood for some indie- non mainstream- non glamorous substance and don’t go by the title, it is not as depressing as it sounds! Watch it and please share your rating above.