NINE DAYS: A gripping story that has plenty to debate with your peers post watch
Sony Pictures Classic
Directed by Edson Oda
Stars- Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale, Arianna Ortiz and Bill Skarsgård
Nine Days is a film well worth watching with family or friends. The sheer amount of discussion that this film will bring up not only post credits but throughout makes it one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had in such a long time. Edson Oda‘s story is so thought provoking that the viewer cannot help but discuss what they’re watching. It’s as if Winston Duke is not only questioning the candidates on the various interview topics that it takes to becomes a human but the viewers themselves.
A reclusive man conducts a series of interviews with human souls for a chance to be born
It is incredible just how similar of a plot summary this has with Pixar’s Soul. That tree has been hit on lots, and though the similarities in subject manner are familiar they both go about in such different ways of doing so. Nine Days hits on the topics by questioning each of the candidates, these souls who want to be born and join the world, on things that are philosophical and moral. With each question, and each of the candidates answers, the viewer through the point of view of Winston Duke’s character Will, the interviewer, is able to discover the candidates personalities. Each one answering the questions vastly different, each one taking on these heavy questions with moral and philosophical implications in such different ways. These souls all in a way interviewing for the most important job of their existence, the chance to live, begin to discover so much about themselves and were invited to share in that tenderness.
Theres so much that goes together with the screenplay to make this film such a must see. We get some gorgeous shots throughout this. From beautiful wide shots where we take in the sheer abundance of nothingness alongside this stunning desert landscape. To the way the lighting of the tv recordings hits Dukes face never taking away from his face, rather enhancing the inquisitive and questioning looks that Duke gives as he goes about the process. A power violin echos as the score, something that is just as powerful as Dukes own screen presence. The violins notes getting more and more powerful as we go along the process.
The acting is phenomenal. I’ve said it enough on Winston Duke already throughout the review, he is the star of the show. His lead character, Will, is one of the most interesting of the year and even though it’s a long shot- he deserves to have some traction throughout awards season. Benedict Wong is charming, and the good cop to Duke’s bad cop, seeking the best out of the souls and never fully grasping why certain personality traits are seen as weak by Will. Tony Hale gets to do something a little more, and a certain dark cloud rides behind the fake niceness that his candidate shows throughout the film. My favorite part is the polar opposites that are Bill Skarsgård and Zazie Beetz, Skarsgård is more grounded and his soul clearly focuses on the pain and suffering that comes with being a human- allowing for his development to show a mistrust in humanity even as just a soul. Beetz, on the hand cherishes the little things about humanity- from touch, and sound, and laughter- Beetz character is inquisitive and curious, and more importantly excited not only about one or two human activities- but the entire experience that comes with being a human. The way her eternal optimism interacts with the intensity of Will is some of the best of the film, they challenge each other on their opinions constantly as they see things vastly different.
In the end, Nine Days is for rent right now for cheap and it’s absolutely worth that money. You will be left floored by some incredible performances, and left questioning the way you would handle the situations brought forward if Duke had questioned you.