With a clear echo of Alfred Hitchcock in Rear Window (100%) and influenced by what was done in the cult film directed by Satoshi Kon, Perfect Blue (72%)arrived this weekend at national theaters Observed (67%)a psychological thriller starring Maika Monroewhich we already saw in a production with a similar theme entitled It’s Behind You (97%). On this occasion, the classic elements of the persecution thriller are combined with light touches to offer a forceful critique of harassment and the different forms of violence that women face every day in a society that does not protect them. Since its anticipated premiere at some of the most important international festivals, the film had a very good reception by critics, with its direction and the acting section being the most valued aspects of this intimate and chilling proposal.
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The film, directed by Chloe Okuno (writer of the recent Death, Death, Death (90%)), follows Julia, a young actress who recently moved into a new apartment with her fiancé only to be tormented by the feeling that she is being stalked by an unseen bystander in an adjacent building, this while proposing to a Serial killer on the loose in the neighborhood. In the cast we can find Monroe, karl glusman, Burn Gorman, Tudor Petrut, Gabriela Butuc, Madalina Anea Y Daniel Nuta.
Next, we will tell you in detail what you can expect from this interesting entry where, despite not subverting the crowded genre to which it belongs, it makes good use of its classic elements to raise the tension in the viewer.
According to reviews, observed is a sharp, creepy and immersive psychological game, in which Okuno brilliantly directs everything, capturing flashes of humor amidst the tension and bringing out the best in his cast. It is said that although its filmmaker builds its emotions around some familiar elements, the film expertly peers into the mind of its main character, capturing his fear, doubt and isolation in every frame of this vigorous story. For experts, this film feels heartbreakingly real thanks to the fragile and disturbing performance of Maika Monroewhich sustains the plot even as development begins to turn formulaic.
However, the film is not exempt from details that subtract a few points from the overall result, with the extremely slow pace and routine execution being the main degrading quality. Based on comments from some critics, observed it has a lot of wasted potential, too often settling for being a vanilla thriller that doesn’t do justice to all of its cinematic qualities, or the likable way it crafts an understated, elegant commentary on modern femininity. On the other hand, it is reported that this stylistic exercise could have worked better if it had had a much tighter duration, in which it was committed to getting to the point without so many detours. Ultimately, it can be read as offering an all-too-easy solution to its central conflict, with a conclusion that lands in a far more unsatisfying reality than the intrigue-filled journey we’ve experienced for the rest of the film.
Finally, Observed (67%) is a clever thriller that portrays pressing social issues with a modern beat. She certainly isn’t without her flaws, but in her directorial debut, Okuno has signed an elegant, effective and creepy film in which looks, gestures and voice tones accumulate in a satisfying catharsis.
Here is a compilation of reviews and reviews of Observed (67%):
Jessica Kiang of Variety:
“Observed” is content to be a “vanilla thriller” that doesn’t do justice to its cinematic qualities, nor to the pleasant way it crafts an understated, elegant commentary on modern femininity.
Jacob Oller of Paste Magazine:
“Observed” offers something sharp, creepy and enjoyable to watch in its psychological game. Okuno directs everything brilliantly, capturing flashes of humor amidst the tension and bringing out the best in Monroe and Anea.
Jake Kring-Schreifels of The Film Stage:
Okuno has made a smart, controlled film of gazes, gestures, and tones that build up into a satisfying catharsis.
Derek Smith of Slant Magazine:
…sometimes plays like a stylistic exercise that could have used a tighter runtime. But Okuno immerses the audience in Julia’s psyche so effectively, exploring the various forms of manipulation she suffers, that the film’s tension packs genuine emotional weight.
Rob Hunter of Film School Rejects:
“Watched” builds its emotions around some familiar elements, but Okuno’s direction and Monroe’s performance work together to keep the film a step or three ahead of any other film in the genre.
Jorge Espinoza-Lasso of the statuette:
Very much in the style of a Hitchcock thriller, but without wallowing in the suffering of its protagonist, “Observada” is a work that explores the fears of being a woman in a world dominated by men who are unwilling to listen, one that normalizes harassment and silent episodes of violence that culminate in terrible consequences. It is not the first time that Chloe Okuno deals with this topic, as can be seen in the aforementioned “Slut”, but here she does it with such subtlety and care of the technique that her message permeates the viewer slowly. but forceful.
yurei dante of tenth circle:
Although its main weakness ruins what should have been a confusing and surprising plot, “Observed” does so many things right that it doesn’t detract too much from your enjoyment. Its sleek looks and terrific performances make the slow-cooking plot taut enough to hold the viewer’s attention until the denouement, where it makes the most of its horror elements and practical effects.
adrian of all horror:
‘Observed’ is not interested in the action or the sequences, but rather in the psychological unraveling of its heroine. His success lies in his ability to evoke feelings of paranoia and claustrophobia in the viewer. Okuno masterfully uses techniques borrowed from other films to create a slow psychological thriller that draws to a satisfying conclusion.
mike mcgranaghan of Isolate Seat:
‘Watched’ isn’t the first movie to be about a character being watched and harassed, but it has several things that make it stand above the rest. Cold Budapest locations provide a sinister setting, Maika Monroe delivers a stellar performance that eschews the overblown histrionics many actors would have relied on, and director Chloe Okuno devises original ways to stage the proceedings. The nerve-wracking movie comes to a terrifying climax. It’s a top notch thriller.
Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com:
Stylish and effective, “Observed” is an old-fashioned thriller with a modern beat, heralding Okuno as a top talent to watch.
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