Haiku Review (Double Dip): You Were Never Really Here

You Were Never Really Here
Written by Lynne Ramsay
Based on the Novel by Jonathan Ames
Directed by Lynne Ramsay


Stunning visuals;
What Is Implied, Not Explained;

A script without fat;
A powerhouse performance;
A menacing score.

**Watch in Theater Immediately**
Pickup at Redbox Upon Release
Stream on Netflix/Watch on Cable
Don’t Waste Your Time



This is a 90 minute thrill ride, unlike most that have come before it. You are sucked into the mind of a tortured soul and feel as lost as he is. The framing/composition, the editing (which should not be overlooked), the score… every piece of this film was set up in such a deliberate way to force you to view it through the eyes of the protagnist. Joaquin Phoenix turns in an elite performance, while having very little to say. His raw emotion and ability to convey with body language and facial expressions is second to none. Lynne Ramsay has crafted a near perfect film. It is no surprise to read after the fact that the film’s premiere was greeted by a 7 minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival last year. If you enjoy movies that do not serve you the entire meal on a silver platter, and do not mind uncomfortable content, do yourself a favor and see this on the big screen.


Have you ever seen a movie where all the parts don’t seem to be working together to form a cohesive whole, and though they all have separate agendas? This is the exact opposite. Everything about this film works hand in hand to build an experience for the audience. It’s tailored toward the cinephiles as opposed to the popcorn crowd, but it can be very rewarding. It’s brief, tense, brooding, explosive and overall excellent. Ramsay has put together a wonderful film that uses a taut pace and great editing to put you inside the main character’s head. And it’s an uncomfortable place to be. Joaquin Phoenix continues to prove he is one of the best actors of his (or…any?) generation. Watching him here, I felt like I was watching the surface of an ocean. Even when you get a little squall, there is unimaginable depth underneath, driving everything. And for being such a violent tale, the restraint is admirable. Ramsay is as interested in gratuitous violence as her protagonist is; that is to say, not at all. For both of them, the violence is a means to an end, not the point itself. Often, the most brutal moments aren’t even shown, as it’s up to you to imagine them. And that may be worse…

2 thoughts on “Haiku Review (Double Dip): You Were Never Really Here

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