Murder On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Film Thoughts: You Were Never Really Here)

You-Were-Never-Really-Here-2018-movie-posterThere is no doubt that Lynn Ramsey’s ‘You Were Never Really Here’ is a great film. Based on Jonathan Ames’ novella, the movie screams art, with a very specific dark tone. It brings us to the mind of a killer – but this one is a tormented manic one – he is skillful and is best at what he does, but certainly in his mind he has conflicting emotions – he feels extremely tortured and disturbed by all it. Ramsey’s film deeps deep in his psyche, and we fill it. Joaquin Phoenix is Joe, danger doom and gloom personified here. It is a committed performance, and it is very disturbing to watch and process. This is certainly not a feel-good movie for me – I felt stressed and repulsed by all the goriness on display – this is totally not my genre of choice at all. And while I acknowledge the film’s brilliance, one sitting for this is more than enough for me, as I cannot fathom ever going through the experience again. I see a lot of people commending Phoenix’s performance as one to beat, and I agree – we not only see the physical character here, bu the was also able to convey what is inside the mind of Joe, and very few actors can pull that off. This film is not for me, but I am sure it will be a lot of people’s favorite.

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