David Koepp, writer of such things as Jurassic Park, Death Becomes Her, Carlito’s Way and many, many more, returns to writing with Kimi, which some of you may view as a modern take on the Hitchcock classic, Rear Window, others, will not.
Kimi follows Angela Childs, Zoë Kravitz (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”), an agoraphobic after being attacked some time in the past, she now works for the latest big tech company to release a smart speaker named Kimi.
Angela’s job is to play ‘anonymised’ clips that Kimi captures, in which she didn’t quite understand the command, and make Kimi understand them, make it a better AI helper.
Angela does try to leave her apartment, mainly to attempt to go and meet with the cute guy who lives in the apartment opposite hers Terry Hughes, Byron Bowers (“No Sudden Move”, “Concrete Cowboy”), but mostly fails, so he has to come round to her place to, er, entertain her.
One day, whilst going through her backlog of streams, Angela stumbles across something that’s all garbled, she’s sure she hears words, but there’s music playing over the top. She isolates parts of the recording and hears a crime occuring.
She notifies her boss, who doesn’t want to know, tells her to delete it, she refuses and he gives her the name of Samantha Gerrity, Erika Christensen (“Traffic”, “Flightplan”), someone higher up. Whilst attempting to reach her Angela calls on Darius Popescu, Alex Dobrenko (“NCIS: Los Angeles (TV)”, “Blinders”), and convinces him to give her an admin password so she can hear what else this particular Kimi device has recorded.
What she hears is a murder taking place and, when she eventually leaves the apartment to go and meet Samantha at HQ, she quickly realises that this whole thing is a cover up, going all the way to the top.
If you’re wondering where the Rear Window connotations come in, besides Angela being stuck at home, there’s lots of her looking out at her neighbours across the street and, in some cases, them looking back at her.
Kimi might not be the most original screenplay we’ve ever seen but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad film, on the contrary, Kimi is good, very good and it’s mostly made so by the great performance of Zoë Kravitz and the directing of Soderbergh.
Kravitz owns the persona of Angela with aplomb. Not only an agoraphobic but with OCD too, Kravitz plays her with a hint of nonchalance and lots of intensity and, at the end, a total bad ass.
Meanwhile Soderbergh excels, managing to keep the film visually interesting with the angles and shots he uses. I felt mesmerised by them, they aren’t always the norm, they stand out enough for you to notice them but they work wonderfully.
The way we are introduced to both Kimi and Angela simultaneously, the text message shot from Angela to Terry, Angela’s first panic attack at leaving her apartment. They’re subtle, simple almost, but really very good.
10th February 2022
THE QUICK SELL
An agoraphobic Seattle tech worker, Zoë Kravitz, uncovers evidence of a crime whilst listening to streams from the latest smart speaker, Kimi.