The review of Run, a thriller based on intrigue and paralysis, starring Sarah Paulson flanked by the young Kiera Allen.
Write the Run review it means rediscovering the theater experience with a film that was directly streamed at home (to be exact on Hulu, of which it became the most successful “original” feature film at the time of launch) due to the health emergency, highlighting the versatility of distribution strategies over the past year. A strategy that in this case has advantages on both sides of the fence: the fact that it is a film shot almost entirely indoors, in the house of the protagonists and some other significant buildings, makes the domestic vision tempting because it accentuates the identification with the problems of young Chloe Sherman; but it is equally true how the claustrophobic quality of the project makes the temptation to experience strong emotions in the dark of the cinema hall irresistible, in the presence of a solid exercise in style that demonstrates the potential of smaller mainstream projects than the usual blockbusters, currently still in a situation of stasis regarding the traditional large-scale release.
Mother and daughter
Run is the story of Diana Sherman (Sarah Paulson) and her daughter Chloe (Kiera Allen), confined to a wheelchair due to various pathologies: the opening sequence shows the baby’s premature birth, accompanied by captions with definitions of arrhythmia, hemochromatosis, asthma, diabetes and paralysis. Chloe dreams of going to university, but Diana, who educated her at home, hides the admission letters, fearing that the young woman is not ready for the outside world. The girl begins to suspect that something is not quite right with the version of events proposed by her parent, and soon finds herself fearing for her own safety in the place where in theory it should be absolutely safe. Are there limits beyond which maternal care should not go? A question to which Diana and Chloe would give different answers, especially when the situation begins to take on tones of Misery must not die (film explicitly mentioned on at least one occasion, given that a secondary character is called Kathy Bates, like the actress who has won the Oscar for the role of Annie Wilkes three decades ago).
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Paradoxically lively performance
The film is the second work of director Aneesh Chaganty, who in 2018 made himself known with his debut in the feature film which was Searching, a thriller that is part of a larger project based on genre films made entirely with social and social screens. video calling technologies (an idea that in hindsight anticipated one of the ways to adapt to current health restrictions). Here, that sense of creative aesthetic ambition is lacking, having the director dealing with a much more classic canvas, to the point that, as pointed out a few lines ago, the references to Stephen King are not particularly subtle. Even here, however, the theoretical question becomes interesting, linked specifically to the young newcomer Kiera Allen: she uses a wheelchair in life, and was chosen for the part of Chloe because, at the insistence of the director, it was fitting that that role be given to an actress intimately aware of the protagonist’s disability. But the interpretation never smacks of advertising artifice in the name of an alleged correctness at the representative level, because the actress goes beyond the pure physical factor and gets into the part with great psychological realism, adapting to the needs of the screenplay in an easy way.
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And there is, in the other corner of what is actually a metaphorical boxing match between great professionals, an excellent Sarah Paulson, who has always been used to exploring the darkest and most troubled sides of the human soul (just think of the lucky partnership with Ryan Murphy that has been running for a decade now) and here in the rare position, at least on the big screen, of being entitled to the lead role rather than being part of a group or being relegated to a few minutes of stage presence. And it is a pleasantly disturbing role, at the center of a film that makes the simple human factor its greatest strength, compensating for some writing obviousness that verges on incongruity with two splendid performances that, in an age of dominated mass entertainment with special effects, they are the right tool to remind us that there are other equally valid forms of mainstream entertainment, to be enjoyed in the dark, surrounded by other spectators.
We close the review of Run, an elementary but effective thriller that explores the relationship between a mother and her daughter in a disturbing way, emphasizing once again the importance in the film of an amazing Sarah Paulson, but also of the newcomer Kiera Allen, one of the best discoveries of the last few months.
Because we like it
- The premise, while not original, is intriguing.
- Sarah Paulson is perfectly disturbing.
- Kiera Allen makes her screen debut with copious amounts of talent.
- Some passages border on incongruity in terms of the credibility of the plot.