Lynne Ramsey, Joaquin Phoenix and Jonny Greenwood. What a trio.
Frankly, one of the reasons for this challenge was to force myself to write. I thought from the beginning that I might end up failing, and look at me go, ten days in and already falling behind.
I had almost no energy or motivation to write the past few days, so I forced myself to wake up early and watch something and write about it. So I picked this film, and it showed up and kicked my ass. I mean, almost literally. I’d be afraid to encounter Joe (played EXCEPTIONALLY well by Phoenix) at any point.
You Were Never Really Here is visceral and terrifying. The way the sense of dread builds and builds. The way we see Joe practice his brave face – and the fact that we think it’s almost believable. It’s this love-hate relationship he has with a hammer. How it was a weapon that tormented his childhood, but he now uses it as a weapon to save others. But he throws them away because he can’t hold onto that feeling forever.
This is accurate anxiety representation. The loud, angry reoccurring voices. The things he sees that are reminiscent of previous triggering incidents. That pure breakdown where he condemns himself for being week.
Lynne Ramsey has painted a hard-to-watch accurate representation of anxiety, but she adds a glimmer of hope.
“Let’s go, it’s a beautiful day.”
Nina tells him and hopefully shows how to cope a little, even deep inside your own personal horror.
I saw the film at 10 in the morning in the comfort of my own living room. Even with that being the case, I felt glued to my seat as Greenwood’s excellent score blared at me and held me down. I’m upset with myself for not seeing this in the cinema, but I might not have been able to move.
As the film came to a close, I felt myself shaking with Joe. It felt personal and private, and I began to get scared at how my own life might progress. Will I cope? Or get lost, and stuck in a bad routine. I’m not sure, but if you’ll join me, it’s a beautiful day, so let’s go.