A Netflix thriller analyzes home invasions

“Hell is other people,” says a famous character in Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit, about three people locked in a room forever. The new Netflix movie Garden explore an hour and a half of that hell, similarly featuring three very different people emotionally torturing each other with mental games. Except in Charlie McDowell’s tense film, Hell is a beautiful California estate belonging to two characters held under the threat of a gun in a home invasion movie, unlike most of the others.

Jason Segel, Lily Collinsand Jesse Plemons play as the only actors in this small, effective, acidic movie (give or take five minutes from an extra character) and they’re all incredible; they would almost be at the top of their game if they weren’t such good actors. The three of them (and others) also co-produced the film with McDowell, who co-developed the story with Segel. They are somewhat close friends (actually, in the case of the married couple Collins and McDowell), who have worked together before. A close cast and a close-knit team make the most of the bottle film in one place, like much of Covid cinema, but unlike most of them, Garden it’s pretty fabulous.


Jason Segel’s show

Windfall Segel goes ss-hh

A man wanders in a large mansion, holding a glass of orange juice from nearby plantations. He looks thoughtfully at the stunning view, sipping the juice while surrounded by a beautiful swimming pool, neat foliage and expensive amenities. He wanders aimlessly through the property, eats an orange here, appreciating a painting there. She enters the luxurious bathroom, opens the sliding glass door to the fine marble shower, and pees inside. This is not his house.

He steals nothing but a glass of orange juice, but as he leaves, he suddenly changes his mind, deciding to start breaking almost on a whim. He silently flips through something valuable at home; this mistake, the fall of greed, will act as a catalyst for the rest Gardena tense thriller with a good sense of humor and a strong commentary on class consciousness.

Windfall Segel stands

Jason Segel plays “Nobody”, which is the name given to his film character, although some sources mention him as the thief, the French term for thief, pointing back to our Frenchman mentioned above, Jean-Paul Sartre). This is a good name, because the public knows nothing about this man and will never know. In addition, Collins plays “Wife” Jesse Plemons as “CEO”, which indicates that they are more or less archetypal substitutes, which means a strong desire to be played.

Segel is an incredible actor, but the way he is underestimated is also incredible. He is best known as an adorable fool in comedies as well Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which he wrote) and the hit series How I Met your mother, but his acting and writing skills are greater than these titles alone suggest. Between writing and playing in a surprisingly good and charming Muppets film featuring the legendary writer David Foster Wallace and starring in the bio movie End of Tourand creating, writing, directing and playing magic, brilliant Referrals elsewhereSegel is honestly one of the most interesting talents of our time.

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What is he doing in Garden it’s twice as interesting, because it literally has no background story to work with, and yet it manages to create a satisfying and complex character. When he is interrupted by the homeowners, he thinks (and sometimes doesn’t) and does his best to keep control of the situation, working with the CEO and his wife to try to get out of the situation safely. Unfortunately, the people he works with are few.

Jesse Plemons show

Windfall Plemons has a gun to his head

Plemons digs into his character like a fox, cleverly penetrating deep into the character’s psyche, while the rich executive tries to do the same with his unexpected “guest”, playing mental games with the cat and the mouse while holding his hand up. No one can say that Plemons is printed; he can be a nice conqueror with complicated characters of humanity (Fargo, The Power of the Dog, Friday Night Lights), but also plays a convincing psychopath (Breaking bad, Black mirror), and something strange between them (I’m thinking of finishing things). Into the Gardenhe hugs the so-called megalomaniacal CEO without making him a caricatured villain, which is again very difficult for a character with little background.

The only thing the public really knows about CEO is that he is rich, earning billions from an algorithm and technology company that essentially helps other rich companies lay off their employees. The character is a replacement for any well-known billionaire that comes to mind, but also a representation of the rejection and anger that many privileged people feel in a society that has become antagonistic to the so-called 99%. “How can people be so mad at me?” he asks, before half-answering his own question without a little self-awareness. “Should I apologize for writing an algorithm that saves companies money and enriches the lives of hundreds of employees?”

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Much of the film feels like a play and criticizes that it does not take advantage of the cinematic environment and is instead more of a theatrical production (like Sartre’s film). No Exit was) are probably guaranteed. However, this does not diminish the power of some scenes. A tense breakfast conversation, while the three are waiting for a bag full of $ 500,000, touches the collective anger of the ultra-rich (and their reflective debate and disgust in turn). The CEO laments a society of “lazy and free people who charge”, saying in a Cartesian way that they believe: “I exist, that’s why I owe something”.

“Try to be a rich white man these days!” cried the CEO. “Everyone always thinks he has to be very nice […] There’s an infinite target behind me! “Jason Segel’s nobody looks, amazed, and confused by his right to be CEO. Meanwhile, the Wife stands aside, looking at the CEO, her disgust gradually building.

Lily Collins’ show

Great find with Collins flanked by lice men

Collins plays Wife in what is by far the greatest performance of her career. Her husband, a writer / director, gave her an excellent role, and Collins enjoys the opportunity. Of course, she was generally perfect for many airy romantic comedies (Emily in Paris, Love Rosie, Stuck in Love), but over time it has come into surprisingly brutal, emotionally raw and excellent performances, such as the anorexic protagonist of To the bone and her work in Inheritance.

Into the Garden, its comic timing and natural magnetism almost distract from the fact that it plays a character who completely transforms during the film. The richest and most submissive (but just as entitled) wife we ​​see at the beginning Garden it is deconstructed, torn and brought to light, before returning together to the amazing end of the film. As no one and the CEO fight for dominance and power over the situation and everyone is emotionally and psychologically manipulated, the wife gradually becomes more and more ill with her husband and upset because of her life.

Collins has more to work with than Segel and Plemons, giving more background story Garden while she quarrels with the CEO and is used by him to try to make friends with Nobody, before she grows up to sympathize with him and, finally, to question the whole nature of her life. a wonderfully developed existential crisis for a character.

The central emotional part of the film is a discussion in the fireplace between her and Nobody, during which she tells the story of her wedding day and the moment she looked at her feet, contemplating the completely antithetical lives she would lead depending on the fact that would return. away from this marriage or going to the altar that day. Photos of these legs appear again in McDowell’s film, suggesting that Garden it is more or less her story and that maybe Nobody and CEO represent those two lives, life without marriage and rights (a Nobody) and a life with a selfish and dominant husband (a CEO).

Exceptional significance

The Windfall cast is staring at the door in the light

The term “exploitation” means an unexpected and completely unearned profit or gain, but it also literally refers to something that is blown by the wind. “You’re so disgusting, I’m sorry,” no one tells the CEO, before screaming angrily, “and nothing seems right! You have everything, and I have nothing!” It is a powerful visceral scene, made all the more so by the incredible work of Segel and Plemons, sitting face to face in the dark, one of them tied to a chair. Disgust and anger are often emotions appropriate to injustice, inequality, and the triumph of evil and exploitation; the film details this splendidly.

Sometimes it seems like everything is arbitrary and no one gets what they deserve. Life is such an exception, with both kindness and often unearned and usually unexpected suffering. Let us not forget, however, the secondary meaning of the term. Even the strong trees, seemingly strong and towering over every little bush, give way to the unexpected gust, overturning in a violent explosion.

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