A few years ago, director Steven Soderbergh claimed that he was quitting the film industry, but that was temporary. Currently, he’s in the process of making a first-look deal with HBO and HBO Max, directing the new thriller KIMI for the streaming platforms. Discharged from the standard studio system in Hollywood, the attraction of a distinctive filmmaker like Soderbergh signing a deal with a streaming service is a collaboration that could produce imaginative and engaging projects. In that respect, KIMI is primarily successful. KIMI is supported by Zoe Kravitz‘s leading role and Soderbergh’s specialized prowess to produce a modern thriller with a fast pace.
In KIMI, Kravitz’s character is Angela Childs, an agoraphobic worker in a tech company, fixing users’ problems with their product KIMI, an Alexa-type appliance. When listening to the latest set of claims, Angela becomes frightened when she hears what she suspects is an attack documented by a user’s KIMI device. While trying to bring the creepy perpetrator to justice, Angela precautions her superiors about the recording file; however, she faces multiple burdens along the way.
In writing, KIMI‘s hypothesis covers ordinary parts such as business corruption and the bulk of technology in our daily lives. Nevertheless, the material is delivered in an interesting way through Soderbergh’s lens. The 89-minute movie never even comes close to overstaying its welcome, showing the right points, and developing ahead with speed until the credits move. Narrative fillers even do not appear; additionally, just about everything onscreen benefits to flesh out Angela as a character or to narrate the story. Therefore, audiences keep their eyes on the screen throughout the movie. That method is appealing, although there are some samples where KIMI tells, rather than displays — especially when it is related to essential parts of Angela’s backstory. Audiences will possibly empathize with Angela, but the storytelling does depend on the expository conversation in some spots.
In other spaces, Soderbergh uses powerful visual storytelling to demonstrate Angela’s aspects. She’s productively produced as a loner disconnected from the outside world. Her agoraphobia is displayed in the flick very well, creating anxious and disturbing sequences circling around something as ordinary as going outside. In general, Angela’s situation delivers more depth to the story. She’s not the type of person who looks to do the right things; she’s preferably getting out of her comfort zone (for reasons that are getting more obvious when the movie goes on). Angela is displayed by Kravitz with a bit of a blunt edge fitting of an outsider in society but also drops the character with enough humankind to make her tantalizing. In some ways, she supports promoting what’s on the page by transferring pieces of Angela’s history and emotions through interactions with other characters.
Kravitz shows her performance in KIMI even though the supporting cast members come across as underserved. The rest regards two-dimensional as if they just appear for the aim of filling out roles in the story. However, the narrative makes sense since KIMI is told from Angela’s view. With her nature, she is not supposed to be a person having good relationships with others. It seems that Angela’s shortage of connections is a byproduct that is created due to the pandemic. FaceTime is creatively used by Soderbergh in some scenes where Angela’s chatting with others during the COVID-19, but many actors are short-weighted. Even Terry (Byron Bowers), the most intimate thing Angela has to a friend, doesn’t have much to do. All of the actors are good at their roles; nevertheless, because of the script’s structure, Kravitz is actually the only one in the cast who creates any kind of significant effect.
Streaming is the perfect site for a film like KIMI. Even when the pandemic is not there, it’s the kind of smaller-scale title that would have been misplaced in the shuffle with a broad release in theaters. By appearing right on HBO Max, it will be easily available and should be able to see its place at home. Although KIMI is not considered as one of the best products of Soderbergh’s storied career, it is still a well-made and interesting thriller fueled by appropriate and opportune themes. Soderbergh’s fans and those who are looking for a slick thriller should watch this movie when they have an opportunity.