The Oscar-nominated actor portrays Nemo, an art thief who is assisted in gaining entry to a spacious, ultra-modern high-rise apartment by some unnamed acquaintances. Before making his way to the front door to leave, Nemo easily passes through the flat, collecting the majority of the items he had intended to collect. Nemo, however, is stuck alone with no way to escape or get in touch with his companions due to a security system malfunction. A malfunctioning thermostat causes temperatures to swing from dangerously hot to distressingly cold, there is little food, the water and gas have been cut off, and all of these things make the situation worse. Even as his mind starts to disintegrate, Nemo must rely on all of his cunning to live in his shockingly hostile circumstances.

Without a devoted lead actor, a film like Within would fall flat. Dafoe fully commits to the role of Nemo as he slowly spirals into madness. Of course, one would not anticipate anything less from the actor famed for his erratic personas, but Dafoe has some particular difficulties in this situation. The conversation is minimal, with Nemo spending the majority of the movie chatting to himself. Instead, the actor uses physical cues to portray Nemo's desperation; one arresting instance involves the robber resting his head inside the freezer. Before silently sobbing and resting his head on his arm, Dafoe anxiously scratches the sides in search of some liquid. Hence, Within is a fantastic showcase for Dafoe's abilities.

But as Within progresses, its intriguing notion loses its freshness. A spectator can only watch a man battle to survive in one spot for so long. The narrative eventually becomes mired in Nemo's madness. It becomes progressively tough to watch because Katsoupis, the author of the narrative that Ben Hopkins later turned into a movie, doesn't sugarcoat the difficult measures Nemo must do to survive. In a brief dream scene that lengthens the film's running time while also hinting at the life Nemo might have wished he could have but now seems farther away than ever, Inside provides a reprieve from Nemo's lonesome existence.

Inside does a great job of both exploring a man's survival efforts and showcasing Dafoe's talent. Nemo's cleverness has been established extensively by the time the credits roll, and Dafoe has surely contributed another memorable performance to his repertoire. Within sways a little more when it comes to the overall plot and its urgency. Not everyone will enjoy this film, but fans of Dafoe must see his risk-taking portrayal of a man at his wit's end. Even when the pacing lags, it keeps the movie intriguing.

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