Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cashback - Movie Opinion

First the facts, there are two films by this name, both directed by Sean Ellis, the first one was a 18 min short film and the next one a full feature length movie. The short film made in 2004 was nominated for the Academy Award in Live Action category in 2006, and the full length movie was released soon after that. The full length film contains the short film within its running time, So all that the director did was, just adding a Scene 1 and Scene 3 around the already filmed Scene 2 from his acclaimed short film.



The protagonist of this movie is Ben Willis - played by Sean Biggerstaff ( who is better known for playing Oliver Wood in the Harry Potter movies). Ben is a student at the art college, the movie starts off with his break up with his girl friend Suzie, after the breakup however Ben develops insomnia, and he discovers he has a additional 8 hours at his disposal each day. So he gets a night job at the local supermarket to earn some money while helping him take his mind off his breakup. Here we get to see how he manages time in his very own way. Ben imagines the world to be paused between seconds,like a movie in pause mode, and in those frozen moments he just admires the beauty of everything around him. He is also greatly inspired by the female body. His respect for the female body started at a very young age, from the time when a Swedish female boarder at his house found it very un-Swedish to cover her up when she walked back from the shower. Ever since then Ben is fascinated by the female body, however the admiration that he has is out of respect for the pure female self rather than just attraction. We get to see glimpses of his childhood, the flashback scenes are seamlessly integrated with the present, mostly the transition just happens with the camera simply panning across a room.

Ben starts using the women customers of the supermarket to help him improve his artistic skills. In those frozen moments he imagines himself undressing them and admiring their beauty. Also the supermarket is filled with many other colorful characters, like fellow salesmen Barry and Matt who have their own way of managing time in the workplace, by playing stupid pranks on co-workers and the customers. Here Ben meets Sharon Pintey the checkout girl (played by Emilia Fox), and falls for her. After which he starts living a pretty normal life. After which the story further takes a small twist, and the two get together in the end predictably.

The narrative is pretty slow throughout, and the camera work is pretty lazy. But it all adds up to the feel of the movie. In the end you'll find that you were not distracted or bored anytime in between, cos' usually such slow screenplay will never hold your attention for so long. The soundtrack adds value to the movie, the score is heavy compared to very little happening on-screen , this amplifies the mood of certain scenes. Overall the movie is quite good - nice cast, good acting, interesting characters and a soothing screenplay.

The film sure has a lot of nudity, here nudity is used to relate to beauty rather than to titillate the audience, the movie balances itself gently on the line between sensual, artistic and erotic.

But i would suggest that if you do watch this film, watch it without any expectations whatsoever. Cos' this is the kind of film that might appeal to each one differently. I could somehow relate to the characters and the story and hence i found this very interesting. But i can tell you this will certainly be better than so many other run-of-the-mill movies that we are exposed to.

Cheers...

Cashback on IMDb

2 ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

Venkat said...

Hmmm nice one man...Gotta watch the movie at your place da...I do see a resemblance here...Even we are attracted to something that the movie picturizes about..

vijay said...

wow!!!that review does not mean anything to me(coz i havnt seen the film yet.)
I'l see it soon....but,man o man nice pic...cms to be a good movie...

 
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