Ruthless and precise, Steven Soderbergh’s “KIMI” is a commentary on isolation and intrusion portrayed by a striking performance from Zoë Kravitz. The movie takes inspiration from classic movies such as Rear Window and Blow Out, making it a relatable movie for the Covid era that we are in.
The movie is largely about how even an agoraphobic too can’t be alone, but there’s no denying that this is a tense but fun movie to watch. “KIMI” is a brilliantly paced, no-nonsense gem from an award-winning Director making many brilliant movies.
“KIMI” takes place in one Seattle loft apartment, occupied by the lonely Angela Childs (Kravitz). She works for a tech company that has a life-changing product called KIMI, which is a version of the real-world Alexa or Siri.
What makes this different is that the errors in communication with KIMI are handled and corrected by an actual person. When the tech is unable to recognize a particular word, Angela listens to soundbites and teaches the technology another phrase for the word.
One day, Angela is going through her errors and hears something truly disturbing. Behind a wall of music, there’s what sounds like a scream and a struggle. She’s tech-savvy enough to play with the sound and isolate the human element, which leads her down a rabbit hole of increasing mortal danger.
What starts as a hyper-focused routine in Angela’s confined space, we feel her increasing tension as we are stuck in that loft with her, shifts in the final half-hour to become more of a traditional thriller. Angela’s investigation will take her into the heart of corporate darkness making the story very intriguing.
It should be no surprise to anyone who has followed Soderbergh’s career to reveal that “KIMI” is as finely crafted as this kind of film can be. Soderbergh glides his camera through the loft in a way that never calls attention to his style but always feels artistically grounded.
Kravitz arguably does her career-best work here. She conveys Angela’s trauma and multiple phobias very well. She understands that agoraphobic people aren’t just crying in a corner of their house, finding strength within Angela’s routines in the first half of the film, which makes her commitment more powerful in the second half, giving the movie life from a cold plot.
We’ve seen films about surveillance and spying for generations now, but those very concepts have changed in the new millennium as technology has allowed us access to other people in a way unimaginable, and this movie gives us a glimpse of just that.
A well-written movie, with great performance. Intense and thrilling, worth watching!
PG – R (Violence, Language & Sex)