Genre : Mystery; Thriller
Director : Aneesh Chaganty
Platform : Netflix; Hulu
Run is a mystery thriller directed by Indian-American Aneesh Chaganty who is also responsible for making the 2018 critically acclaimed Searching. In the plot we follow a teenager Chole, who is suffering from multiple diseases, is wheelchaired and lives in complete isolation from the world. After a peculiar incident she starts suspecting her mother and starts investigating her mother’s secrets.
There are many parallels we can draw from Searching(2018). In Run also the premise comprises of a single parent and child, and a mystery revolving around their lives. However, the story is just opposite to that of Searching. Here, the daughter is trying to run away from her mother. In an interview by Screen Rant, creators Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian said that they deliberately wanted to come up with a script that was just the opposite to that Searching, keeping the main elements same.
The movie isn’t a heavy thriller with loads of plot twist and action. Instead it is a slow burn, light and a pleasant watch. Throughout we get Sarah Paulson’s dramatic yet subtle expressions, eerie cinematographic frames and enough comic scenarios to make us laugh. Initially we see Paulson in a support group where parents are crying over the fact that their children are going to college. Paulson doesn’t even shed a tear, instead she influences the parents to look on a positive side. After knowing her secrets, it is hilarious to look back at this scene because Paulson surely has some other defence mechanisms to tackle with her daughter going to college. In another scene when Chole after a lot of struggle finds out what is being done to her, she says ‘M********r’. I laughed.
The premise with children being kept inside their home has also been shown in movies like Disturbia. In Distrubia, the neighbour plays the shady character which gives enough opportunity for the plot to develop. On contrary, in Run, the mother’s character is also doubtful which poses certain limitations. When mother and daughter face each other, you can’t show much action. The person you have spent 17 years with, who has loved you unconditionally, you can’t physically hurt them. As an audience we go through the same dilemma as Chole and can’t predict how Chole will save herself. This is the movie’s Achilles heel as it closes the door for more action sequences. However, it manages to make the plot unpredictable, which surely hooks us till the end.
In mystery thrillers the end is of utmost importance because either it leaves the audience shook and exhilarated or it disappoints. Run lies somewhere near to the former side and provides a good thrilling climax in the last fifteen minutes. The end leaves us in a state of contentment taking references from an initial scene. That’s all we want from a good mystery, isn’t it?
An Indian reviewer who writes about horror and thriller movies/series. If not movies, he likes to pick up a mystery book to read. Some of his favourite movies/series include Stranger Things, Elite (S1-3), Train to Busan, Andhadhun, Strangers: Prey at Night.