facebook_pixel Press "Enter" to skip to content

Looking to start your TV writing journey?

Buried (Script) – Review

There has been a script going around with a lot of buzz, Buried.
One word to describe it: intense.
This was probably one of the fastest read I’ve done of a script.
It is very engaging despite it’s bleak (even depressing?) aspect.

The movie will star Ryan Reynolds in the title role and will be directed by Spanish filmmaker Rodrigo Cortés. The script was written by Chris Sparling.

As for the story, it’s pretty straight-forward.
A man named Paul wakes up to find himself inside a sealed coffin.
He has been buried alive and only has with him a few precious items, including a Zippo lighter and a cellphone with two battery bars and one reception bar left.
Speaking of, the phone brand that gets a deal to be in the movie will most likely make a killing (no pun intended). Besides its obvious basic call function, the object’s other functions (video, MMS, etc.) are really detrimental to the whole plot.
There are a few other stuff in there that you get to discover with Paul, such as a knife and a candle.

To answer the first question that probably popped into your mind: Yes, the whole movie is literally 90 minutes in a coffin. It’s virtually a one-man show.

At first glance, the story might remind you of a famous 2005 CSI episode directed by Tarantino: Grave Danger.
Although in some ways pretty similar (a few of the coffin components are there, such as the use of fire ants at one point), the two stories are dissimilar in the way they’re depicting the whole “kidnapped and buried alive” plot.
Whereas the CSI episode delves more into the rescue efforts, Buried is a first-person account of a man having actually been buried alive.

Let’s check the script now.
Regarding the downsides, the reason for Paul being down there is almost stereotypical one might say. You find it out early on in the script, and even you can easily guess it by just knowing the country it takes place in, Iraq.

A few moments also made me unintentionally laugh, like some of the dialogues:

Breathe no breathe, American? Ah?
Breathe no breathe?
What? I don’t know what you’re
saying. Who is this?
Infidel American can breathe no
No, I can’t breathe.

Sounds like a parody for a second.

There was this one Human Resources phone call around the end of the movie that is pretty far stretched as well.

A couple of physics-defying moments were present, such as the phone having reception even though it’s buried in the middle of the desert.
The flame from the candle should also burn oxygen much faster than it does in the movie.

Finally, one thing that a lot of people have noticed about the script is its use of prose-like writing, which is somewhat awkward given the fact that this is, you know, a script.
You get to learn things you’re not supposed to know, and it’s visually/auditorily impossible to guess said facts.
An early example:

He tries to remember the Safe Number he was given.
With the phone open and ready to be dialed, Paul struggles to recall the information.

How are you supposed to convey on screen that he’s remembering not just a phone number, but his “safe number”?
Did I mention that this is the first time in the whole script this mysterious number has been brought up?

Anyway, despite those few quarrels I had with the script, it is really so intense that it makes you overlook those minor mistakes.
The ambiance has kind of a Saw-esque quality to it (the first movie) given its suppressing feel throughout. You’re almost left gasping for air. The film will certainly not be for the claustrophobics out there.

The ending was very strong as well I thought.
I’m not going to spoil if he gets out or not, but there is at least one final gut-punch that you don’t see coming and is, in my mind, even more powerful than what happens at the end.

It will be extremely interesting to see the final result and how all this will turn out on screen.
Though the script doesn’t call for it, perhaps the director won’t be able to resist the urge of making intercuts with the outside world (especially during the phone calls).
If the movie is done without any intercuts nor flashbacks nor any other sceneries than what is written in the script, then bravo.

Ultimately, the script is definitely a page-turner and the movie promises to certainly be as exciting (especially with Reynolds as the lead), as long as no major changes are made and the oppressing feel is kept intact.

One Comment

  1. Lordy

    As I see it, "Buried" can be seen as Van Wilder's bachelor party gone horribly wrong.

    (Seriously, it called for it.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *