Sundance’s darling makes gloriously twisted Netflix debut
“I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” lives up to its gritty reputation. | Courtesy of twitter.com
Making lemonade becomes hard when life hands you rotten lemons.
A pay off
“Green Room’s” Macon Blair did not have to stress over whether his movie would sell to a distributor at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. In fact, he sold Netflix his idea for “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” before production even began.
Netflix’s gamble on this off-kilter indie comedy paid off in spades.
“I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” quenches the thirst of every masochistic part of every viewer’s heart by pressing a story of two people who have determined the only avenue for behaving properly within the parameters of an unforgiving world is to obliterate those parameters and be unforgiving themselves.
Ruth, played by Melanie Lynskey, lives as a corrosively dull person, who views the world as monotonous and full of cynicism. She says “I want for people to not be a--holes,” which essentially captures Ruth’s purpose in the film. When her house gets broken into, she is pushed over to the point of no return and decides actions must be taken with or without authority in order to right the world's wrongs. Consequently, her vigilante mentality comes back to bite her, leaving her fumbling through a red herring of mishappenings.
This giant red herring of a plot takes twists and turns purporting ambiguity as to this film’s intended genre. “I Don’t Feel…” opens as a neo-noir piece. Then in the second act, it shifts into a grim satire about cynicism. Yet, the third act leaves comedy in the gutter almost entirely, contorting into an unnerving thriller— almost Tarantino-esque in gore. Nevertheless, the film sticks to its facetious ambiance.
In all honesty, the story’s seemingly trite premise has been implemented countless times. However, the chain reaction of Ruth’s actions brought this film a palatable vitality exhibiting just why it won Sundance’s top prize. Much credit is due towards Blair, who, in his directorial debut, already realizes what success as a filmmaker looks like.
“I Don’t Feel…” could be easily mistaken as film scripted by the kings of dark comedy — the Coen Brothers. Like a Coenesque film, viewers become numb to the grotesque depictions of ultraviolence by virtue of this film’s overarching hilarity, which, in a nutshell, embodies the genre of dark comedy.
Through the heavy veil of comedic darkness, there lies an attainable message in which Blair dares us to assume the worst of humanity because through a purely nihilistic lens, humanity persists with an egregious nature. The director forces viewers to examine this negative outlook, confirming humanity's heinous ways through the film’s passing scenes filled with calamitous follies. The viewer ultimately becomes as frustrated as the story's protagonist struggles with the calling to a virtuous life when left to make lemonade from unripened lemons