Kimi is a 2022 American science fiction thriller about an agoraphobic young female Seattle tech worker who uncovers evidence of a murder.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Unsane; Side Effects; Contagion) from a screenplay written by David Koepp (director of You Should Have Left; Stir of Echoes; scriptwriter of The Mummy 2017; Spider-Man; Jurassic Park; Panic Room).
The movie stars Zoë Kravitz (The Batman), Jaime Camil, Erika Christensen, Derek DelGaudio, Robin Givens, Charles Halford, Devin Retray (Home Alone), Jacob Vargas, and Rita Wilson.
Kimi is an Alexa/Siri-like voice-activated digital assistant. It hears everything you say all the time, recording everything for a Big Brother-like corporation. Angela Childs (Zoë Kravitz)is a voice stream interpreter who accidentally overhears a murder on a recording she’s analysing.
Angela is shaken after reaching out to colleagues. Why are her employers resistant to her trying to bring this to the authorities’ attention?
Kimi, the latest addition to Steven Soderbergh’s interesting but frustratingly inconsistent filmography, stars Zoë Kravitz as Angela Childs. Uniquely, for a film like this, Angela’s struggle is not to get people to believe that she heard what she heard. Instead, her struggle is to get the evidence to the people who need to hear it for themselves.
Angela is terrified of leaving her apartment and, once she finally does, the outside world confirms all of her fears. Kimi is a film about paranoia, a portrait of a world where everyone can be tracked and no one — from Angela’s too-helpful boss (Rita Wilson) to the man who casually walks by with an umbrella — can be trusted.
Steven Soderbergh has always been hit and miss. At his best, he can be a clever stylist and, at his worst, he can be painfully pretentious. And yet, regardless of anything else, you do have to respect Soderbergh’s willingness to experiment with different genres and styles. Soderbergh never stops working, despite the fact that he announced his retirement years ago.
Despite getting off to a slow start, Kimi is one of Soderbergh’s more entertaining thrillers, one that does a great job creating an atmosphere of paranoia and one that is also blessed with excellent performances from Zoë Kravitz and Rita Wilson, who makes good use of her limited screen time.
Kimi is a well-made Hitchcockian thriller and, along with No Sudden Move, it’s a return to form for Soderbergh after the two terrible movies that he made with Meryl Streep, The Laundromat and Let Them All Talk. Yes, Soderbergh can be inconsistent but when he’s good… he’s very, very good (sometimes, he’s even brilliant). Narratively, Kimi may be a relatively simple film by Soderbergh standards yet it’s undeniably effective.
Lisa Marie Bowman, guest reviewer via Through the Shattered Lens
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