You Were Never Really Here is a movie directed by the amazing Lynne Ramsay with Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role of a war veteran suffering from PTSD who is a hired gun for rescue missions of children in sexual exploitation situations and abuse by human traffickers.
The movie is not for the faint of heart. The themes are heavy. The situations are grim. The acting is impeccable. The score is exceptional. The directing is perfect.
Yet, the movie experience is difficult. It’s difficult because of the subject matter. Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) gets called for another job in which he has to go rescue the daughter of a politician who has been kidnapped. After the succesful, and mesmerizing, rescue mission is done, this is were everything starts to go wrong for Joe and he has to go deeper into the rabbit hole to help the girl.
Mind you, that is only one of the themes in the movie. You, as a viewer, still have to go through the journey with Joe in dealing with his demons. And how these demons are always on his shoulder. Sometimes carrying him. Sometimes drowning him. Sometimes just not letting him be him.
Jonny Greenwood’s score is the glue that holds together the anxiety of going thru this movie experience. And just like his previous scores for Paul Thomas Anderson, this is amazing. The score itself is another performer in the film.
This movie could also serve the purpose, for those out there that suffer from depression, that they’re not alone. That what they do IS worthwhile for someone. To seek help and to allow that help to comfort them in dealing with said demons.
I do hope that the trio of Lynne Ramsay, Joaquin Phoenix and Jonny Greenwood work together again. Because they could create films that need to be seen and experienced.
If you care about film, you need to go see this movie.
Words by: Alfredo Tellez & Edith Morales