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Everyday (1929)

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Michael Hankinson
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Diminishing returns
10 June 2007 | by (England) – See all my reviews

This film is highly atmospheric and entertaining the first time round, with its montage of images giving a vivid and slyly humorous evocation of 1920s London (although the very American stock-market listing soundtrack is somewhat incongruous when paired with double-decker buses, suburban tank engines, and London policemen!). The second time round, in abbreviated form, serves to make explicit the joke in the title; this isn't just a typical day, this is all the days of the office-workers' life, in their remorseless identical tread. The third time round serves perhaps to reinforce the point.

But from the point of view of actual entertainment, the returns drop rapidly with each successive repetition of the same footage, until this viewer, at least, felt like screaming "All right, all right -- I got the point about five minutes ago, I'm not stupid!" If you can wait it out (since this was the second time I'd seen the film, I'm afraid that this time round I simply shut my eyes and leaned back in my seat), the succession does finally end as everything melts down in the finale.

I do wonder how many people who are (unlike me) in a position to fast-forward through the picture actually wait that long, though. This film could happily lose five minutes or so.


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