An art thief is trapped in an art collector's penthouse in Inside. Nemo (Willem Dafoe) is a high-end art thief who breaks into the penthouse apartment of a private collector to steal some priceless works from the collection. However, the alarm malfunctions during his escape, and Nemo finds himself trapped in the penthouse. With limited food and water and the empty penthouse, save for the artwork, Nemo has to find a way to escape from this prison.
Inside is a single-person, single-location drama and the English-language debut of Greek filmmaker Vasilis Katsoupis (My Friend Larry Gus). The film stars Willem Dafoe as art thief Nemo, who finds himself trapped in the penthouse of an anonymous art collector (Gene Bervoets). With only the furniture and works of art to work with, Nemo has to use his intuition if he ever expects to survive his predicament.
My Thoughts on Inside
Except for dream sequences/flashbacks and various people seen through security feeds, Inside is a film based entirely on the solo performance of Willem Dafoe as Nemo. Nemo has to make the best of the limited resources, including gathering water from the sprinkler system and trying to survive on very little food left in the fridge and pantry. With all the doors and windows locked up tight, Nemo's best chance of escape is a single skylight, and he spends an indeterminate amount of time building a tower for his escape.
It remains ambiguous how much time passes over the course of Inside, though it's easy to assume that Nemo is trapped for at least a few months. One of the film's themes is how Nemo's trapped existence within the penthouse becomes an art installation, especially as Nemo uses everything at his disposal to craft his escape. While Willem Dafoe's charisma is more than enough to drive a film on his own, I have to admit that Inside starts to get a bit taxing in the second half while also getting into a few more disgusting aspects of living in isolation with no working plumbing. That said, Inside demonstrates Willem Dafoe's acting skills, especially as he has to act with little dialogue.
While Dafoe's performance is enough to give Inside a watch, ultimately, I would say that this film is probably not for everyone.