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Four young office workers have a bet going to see who can last the longest without going outside. In the maze that is the downtown core of a large city, glass skywalks connect apartment buildings, office towers and shopping malls. Its day 28 of the bet and over the lunch hour, as the office prepares for the company founder's retirement party, things start to seriously unravel. Written by
The film starts off being narrated by Tom (Fab Filippo), as we are first introduced to him on Day 24, smoking weed in a parkade to pass the time. We soon learn that in his meaningless cubicle Dilbert job, he is involved in a contest with 3 other employees to see who can stay indoors the longest in a downtown network of office buildings, shopping malls, food courts, apartments, and skywalks. The one who stays in the longest, will win a months salary.
The name of this place is not mentioned in the film, but for those who can recognize it, it is Calgary's downtown network. I guess due to it's size and huge facilities that it is attached to, you could practically spend the entire time never having to step outside, going from work to home and everything you need in between. Heck doesn't sound that far fetched, I even heard one person can spend their entire life in Chicago's Sears Tower and have everything they need. Needless to say the bet starts to take its toll on the characters sanity, and our lead hero Tom starts wondering what he is to make of his career and spiritual life, as his mind is slowly falling out of his body.
This movie was a lot of fun for me. I totally identified with Tom, who is trying to find something else meaningful in life, and work-hell being the catharsis for it. The movie is funny, and even has 3 particular gut busting scenes (which I won't give away). It's easy to see why Tom is so disenchanted, the place he works at is dull and boring, a firm named what else (Mather, Mather & Mather) headed by an octogenarian. We run into his other co-workers like (the VERY attractive) Sandra who is in on the bet, and at wits end since her supervisor orders her to follow Mr. Mather around the network cause he's a serious kleptomaniac (he goes around to all the stores and shoplifts like crazy!). For Tom to pass the time, he starts playing mind games on Sandra telling her the air is constantly being recycled and filthy, and if it feels stuffy. As a result we see Sandra running around the network constantly gasping for air, loosing her mind, and then even resorting to ripping out perfume inserts in a book store and sniffing them like a drug addict. Tom's other problems are 2 cubicle mates, Brad (Don McKellar, not in on the bet) a long standing employee who's been around TOO long and gone nowhere a ticking time bomb waiting to go off (everyone calls him Sadly Bradley), and Curt (who is in on the bet) a cocky arrogant, turtle neck wearing thinks he's cool but is not type of guy, who only refers to Tom by calling him Dinkus'. Fun fun fun who wouldn't be loosing their mind in a place like this?
This movie reminded me a lot of another film very similar called Office Space, where the characters are similar but different. It's different cause the film has some neat editing scenes, and goes into some fun philosophical points as Tom describes his non-existence while swimming around the downtown area. This makes the film more reflective and poignant, where Office Space is more goofy and fun. Also while Office Space has more cartoonish like characters, these characters are a little more complicated. The other killer was there was one supervisor who looked EXACTLY like the head supervisor for my department in this film (and for all I know may even have the same temperment!!!). But the similarities are the same in that the characters are both trying to figure out some type of meaning in their life in their HORRIBLE MEANINGLESS jobs. Some may criticize it as, Gen X whining but I don't think so cause here the complaints are valid, where as a film like Reality Bites (which is one of the most offensive and worst films I have ever seen) is pure stereotyping.
This is just a well done, good unique film. It is not BRILLIANT, or REVOLUTIONARY, but the story is memorable, and the film should definitely be seen by more audiences. Due to the nature of Canadian films being distributed, the chances that you may see this film are probably small and that's a shame cause it deserves a bigger audience.
Rating 7.5 out of 10
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