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Brandi is a hard-partying, overworked, nursing assistant desperate for a promotion at the retirement home where she works. After a night of drug-binging and partying, she accidentally hits a certain Thomas Bardo a deadbeat and recently evicted man who gets stuck in the windshield of her car. Not wanting to call for help since she is driving under the influence, Brandi, chooses not to get Thomas medical help and instead drives home and leaves him clinging to his life in the windshield of her car. While Brandi frantically tries to decide what she is going to do, Thomas, tries to free himself knowing his time is running out. Written by
Scriptwriter John Strysik has stated that the last name of Stephen Rea's character - Bardo - comes from the Buddhist term for an intermediate or transitional state of being, and thus is a reference to the life-or-death situation Tom experiences. See more »
In the scene where Bardo is hit, the view through the windshield from the inside towards the front shows that it is completely intact. In a reverse shot immediately following this, and just before Bardo goes through the windshield, you can see that the glass is cracked. This is likely to facilitate the stuntman going into the vehicle instead of bouncing off of it when he is hit. See more »
STUCK is one of those films that creeps up on you, teases you into thinking a comedy is in the making, then slowly reveals itself as what seems to be an exposé of our current manner of getting through life, of competing in the workplace, and of self absorption to the point of endangering those around us. The fact that the film is based on a true story as adapted by director Stuart Gordon and transformed into a bitingly satirical screenplay by John Strysik increases the impact of this well-crafted little low budget film. Watch it once for the gritty content of the story, then watch it again to appreciate all of the very dark (and very pointed!) humor in what at first appears to be a grisly tale.
Brandi Boski (Mena Suvari) works as a Nurse's Aid in a nursing home of senile elderly patients, giving some of the finest care for those entrusted to her talents. Brandi's compassionate work is noted by the supervisor Peterson (Carolyn Purdy-Gordon) who manages to trick Brandi into an even heavier work schedule by suggesting a raise in position. Excited about her possible promotion Brandi and her working partner Tanya (Rukiya Bernard) celebrate that evening with Brandi's boyfriend/drug supplier Rashid (Russell Hornsby) who gives Brandi a pill of Ecstasy and the mixture of the drug with the alcohol creates a mess of Brandi's mind.
The parallel story involves one jobless Thomas Bardo (Stephen Rea) who lives in a tenement, is evicted because of past due rent, and becomes a street person, treated with cold (but satirical) mechanical responses at the Department of Unemployment. Left to sleep in the park he is befriended by another homeless person, given a shopping cart, and makes his way toward a midnight mission.
Brandi cum altered thought processes drives home, hits Thomas who comes sailing through her windshield badly injured, and out of fear and distress Brandi merely takes the 'stuck' Thomas home to park him in her garage, knowing that her boyfriend Rashid will help her. Thomas is conscious, unable to climb out of the glass of the crushed windshield and begs for help. How the stranded and injured Thomas is treated by the desperate but self-centered Brandi, by the frightened but macho Rashid, and by neighbors who fear intervention because of reporting an incident that would encourage police intervention and threaten their deportation as illegal immigrants results in an ending that shows how 'justice' can prevail!
The cast is first rate - especially Rea, Suvari, Hornsby and Bernard. The direction is tight and maintains credible characters in incredible situations and holds the audience attention every moment. This is a fine example of how a low budget film, in the hands of pros, can be more successful that the big budget, less thoughtful movies that crowd our marquis. Grady Harp
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