Directed by Aneesh Chaganty, Run is the story of a daughter slowly realizing her mother’s excessive care might just be dangerous for her.
Lately, I feel like I’ve been surrounded with content that deals with grief and the inability to process it healthily. Loss and tragedy do make for some entertaining conflicts so I guess that’s expected. Despite its familiar themes, Run is excitingly fresh. It’s hard to talk about this film without major spoilers, especially because of how relentless it is from the beginning. Run, a psychological thriller at its core makes excellent use of its two lead actors to support a great script.
The star of the show is Kiera Allen, a disabled lead actress to probably star in a thriller in decades. The sheer extent of movement in her entire performance to me felt impossible for someone with a disability. This itself speaks volumes about my own preconceived notions because what Allen accomplishes on screen is phenomenal. That’s not all though. Her competence in every emotion she showcases feels effortless. An astounding debut in every way, I look forward to hopefully seeing Allen much more.
Complementing her is Sarah Paulson, in a role that synergizes well with some of her past performances and this particular genre. Compassionate yet also unnerving, Paulson makes her presence felt strongly in every scene she is in. She finds a way to surprise and sneak up on you in ways that feel believable yet thrilling.
The great performances, however, wouldn’t be complete without an amazing script that understands these two women well. Despite the short runtime, the film is able to establish the two very early on which greatly benefits the final act.
Also worth noting is how smart these characters are, making decisions that feel mostly practical. A particular sequence involving Allen’s character maneuvering around the house because of her disability is probably the film’s most memorable moment. What makes that sequence special is not just how tense it is, but how original and fresh it feels. Unlike most sequences with a dreadful but expected outcome, creating a sense of genuine curiosity is much appreciated. Supporting all the great writing is some masterful camera work and an excellent score.
What doesn’t work
There are some slight shortcomings that do weaken the punches. There are some minor plot conveniences towards the end that feel undesirable considering how smart the film is until then. The final resolution feels slightly immature, weakening what could have otherwise been a great character arc. Most of the concerns highly depend on how invested you are.
Run is an excitingly fresh take on a familiar premise thanks to yet another smart script from Aneesh Chaganty and a remarkable debut from Kiera Allen.