Ok, I really, really, reeeally liked this movie- I’ll just say that off the top. As a lover of movies with #strongfemaleleads it wasn’t hard to press play, but it was the unexpected twists and turns of the plot that kept me hooked. Let me tell you there were multiple times when I said out loud, “oh she dead, dead” but then OMG no- she wasn’t. Furthermore, the lead character’s survival felt plausible. Not going to lie I doubted Zoe Kravitz plastered on the movie poster with the blue hair looking like a 90s alt girl model. I wasn’t sure what the movies was even about, which I’m thankful for because when things started going left I felt intrigued and that feeling just kept building. This pandemic as surreal as it has been, I heavily identified with the WFH annoyances and isolation but also unchecked medical issues (i.e. toothache) but the way that all of it was woven together to both move along the story and also used to help save the main character was brilliant.
Ok, let’s get started- (spoilers begin now)***
We start with Angela working from home for a company that produces an Alexa type smart home device that follows users verbal commands (i.e. controls lights, music, phone, etc.). Angela’s job is to listen to misinterpreted commands by users and provide corrections to the system so that the user has a more improved and personally tailored future response. Everything comes to head when Angela is assigned a suspicious sounding recording. After further investigation Angela is convinced that the user was the victim of a violent attack and takes it upon herself to do something about it even though she has zero power and her immediate supervisor orders her to just forget about it. Despite not being supported, Angela persists and is directed to a special department that handles calls like this. After many attempts to make contact, Angela is told she must come into the main office and present the head of the department (along with the FBI) her recordings. Because of her desire to help, Angela agrees to deliver the recording in person. This is when we begin to see just how precarious of a mental health position Angela as her impromptu meeting sets a chain of events in motion by unseen forces who are desperate to destroy the recordings at all costs. Come to find out the woman Angela heard was killed by an ex-lover who also happens to be the owner of the company that produces KIMI.
Here’s the tricky part: Angela lives alone, has few relationships and the ones she does have are strained. There’s her Mom who seems to be over Angela’s increasingly moody behavior, and the man across the street who seems to be less and less willing to put up with Angela’s confusing wishy washiness. Additionally, anxiety has made Angela agoraphobic and despite excruciating pain unable to follow through with her dentist for a much-needed root canal or her therapist for her scheduled sessions. We gather from her interactions that Angela has issues, we just don’t know immediately why. ***SIDEBAR- this is what I really liked about KIMI. I hate movies that tell me everything. I like when a story is told in a way in which you have to infer what is going on, and KIMI does this wonderfully!
Later we find out Angela has had several traumatic recent events: her father, who she was close to (he helped renovate her amazing apartment) has died, also sometime in the last year or so, she was the victim of a brutal attack. Both of these incidents added to the backdrop of a global pandemic makes it believable that Angela would not want to leave the safety of her home. However, throughout the movie we are able to see in her interactions with people who knew her before, which makes who she has become all the more tragic. It makes you sympathize even more with the timidity in which she now moves through the city as she risks everything for a woman she believes is in danger. ***SIDEBAR- this was another part of the movie that I loved– I kept waiting for a woman to reach out to help Angela- but none of these witches ever did. Here Angela was doing everything she could for a woman she’d never met but she THOUGHT was in danger and at every turn each of the women she came across didn’t have her back (not her Mom, not her coworkers, not the therapist (who felt a little antagonistic) or the female operative that helped drug Angela then served her up to her killers. It was like all of the women in the movie had no sympathy nor empathy for Angela and I took that in two ways: as women we’re often met with on the regular: “it’s hard out here for women, so suck it up, buttercup”, and worse, “it’s hard out here, and if I have to screw you to make sure I’m covered best believe I will”. Fortunately, Angela doesn’t do any of this which truly makes her the heroine. The other thing I loved is that she doesn’t wait for a man to save her. Although Angela is a tiny thing she is mighty and she takes her attackers out with her smarts not brawn which makes it all the more believable. She fights for her future and past self so when she prevails it’s all the more sweet. By the end of the movie I was cheering for her and the fact that when she had her attackers on their back she didn’t walk away, she made sure she put them all the way down (thanks to her handy nail gun). There was no whimpering or simpering, there was no fake falls or damsel in distress moments. Angela kicked ass and took names making sure every step of the way despite her own personal anxiety that she stayed on task using that rock hard focus to wear her opponents down and in the end she was rewarded with her life which she wrestled back with her own two hands.
PROS: not your stereotypical damsel in distress movie; fast paced movie that was believable in how the heroine saved herself.
CONS: it was only 89 minutes; it could have been longer, nonetheless it was a tight well-paced plot/movie.
So, check KIMI out and let me know in the comments what you think!