Talk about severe paranoia. This movie based upon the play of the same name is nuts. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy it because I did.....but wow.
A commentary on how we lose ourselves whenever we have a dysfunctional attraction to another person? A look at the irrational yet highly addicting phenomena of conspiracy theorists? Another film exploring the depths of what scares us? All a resounding yes.
My friend Edwin and I had a conversation once during rehearsal of the play Arsenic and Old Lace. If you take away the sets, the props, and the costumes, could you still give the audience an effective performance? Well, this film to me is an ode to this sentiment. Bug's lack of multiple sets works for the film and is definitely a salute to its genesis as a play. The setting enhances the meat of this film which is the actors' and their dialogue.
As the audience, you sit stunned at what the two main characters become as the film develops. Hints of their irrationality are there from the very beginning but as the story evolves, you are just swept up at just how crazy it all becomes.
Michael Shannon resurrects the role of Peter Evans, which he performed on stage. Shannon is the consummate character actor. He moves from the intimidated quiet one to the enraged psychotic quickly and effortlessly. The role fits him like the proverbial glove; and had I not known that he played the role before, I would have thought the same. Ashley Judd's Agnes was unattractive and sympathetic. She is a broken woman with no initiative to change her circumstance, which is evident more so when she meets Peter. I wanted both characters to succeed but obvious from the start that success is a relative word.
It's an intense film that had me shaking my head, gathering my dropped jaw, and saying "What the fuck?!"