The straw that broke the camel’s back and then mercilessly hit it over the head with a brick.

Having recently watched the Netflix Original Shimmer Lake earlier this week, I decided to flick through Netflix for hidden gems and other original features, and in this respect the streaming service offers somewhat of a goldmine. I guess that makes me prospector.

On first glance, I believed I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore (henceforth dubbed I Don’t Feel Anymore, because of the ling title) was some sort of post-apocalypse movie based on the covering image. Upon closer inspection and reading the synopsis, which always helps, I realised that it was in fact a pillowcase on a character’s face and not a gas mask.

I Don’t Feel Anymore tells the story of a downtrodden and depressed Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) who enlists the help of odd Tony (Elijah Wood) to track down the criminals who stole her Grandmother’s silverware and laptop, and marks of the directorial debut Blue Ruin star Macon Blair.

Existentialism and depression eat at the heart of Lynskey’s performance as she experiences death as a nursing assistant, as her neighbour’s dog shits on her lawn, as people jump in front of her in a que as if she is a non-entity, and strangers in bars spoil a book she is enjoying. Though a series of minor events that can usually be brushed aside, the film creates the impression from the off that her mental illness has been long in its development as Lynskey hones an awkward sadness in her disheartening and real performance.

Following a major role other quirky Netflix Original Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (which is really quite good), Elijah Wood also puts in a remarkable supporting performance as a weird loner who wears shades at night, poorly wields nunchucks and listens to metal so loud half of the Shire would put in noise complaints. Wood is no stranger in playing odd roles following a three-year stint as a hobbit, starring as psychosexual killer in Maniac, oddball loner in Dirk Gently and the unlikely hero of zombie comedy Cooties, so at this point he has perfected the art of the being weird.

As writer and director, Macon Blair’s delivers an original story in his debut, though in regards to tone it seems that his acting work with Jeremy Saulnier in both Blue Ruin and Green Room has left a large impression on Blair’s directorial style, which is not necessarily a bad thing as both of these crime thrillers are top-notch and amazingly unique. I Don’t Feel Anymore similarly incorporates moments of black comedy into an otherwise escalating cat and mouse thriller, with hyper-realistic violence making for a gut-clenching thriller as black comedy shifts to black. Just black.

There is light at the end of the dark tunnel however, resulting in a rollercoaster of emotions masterfully crafted by Macon, who adeptly touches upon several important themes regarding depression, loneliness, love, life and death and meanings of, and weaves them into the crime thriller narrative in a uniquely striking debut. I Don’t Feel Anymore a film to catch in 2017 – with the cheap cost of a Netflix subscription it’s basically free and worthwhile for the wide range of original content.

7.5/10

The Film Fanatic

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