The film portrays an unsuccessful salesman, Harold Broadneck, walking from a house to a house and offering various goods. He's been unable to make a single sale in weeks, so his miserable career is in danger of a sudden end as his mysterious superior, Mrs Peterson, who we know only from Broadneck's phone conversations, threatens to make him redundant. Everything changes when Broadneck meets his colleague, Jack Dundy, who gives him advice that he should have a lucky charm. The protagonist chooses fortune cookies and, gradually, becomes addicted to the fortunes inside. When he is unable to work without a good fortune in his hands, good luck is about to leave him and the salesman's career is going to change again.
Let's not fool ourselves - the very few people who watched this, did it because the great Darren Aronofsky directed this short film. While he is well known and respected for such titles as 'Pi' or 'Requiem for a Dream', he began his career rather modestly with short films directed for the purpose of graduating the AFI Conservatory. 'Fortune cookie' is one of three (some claim four) such short films.
The artistic value here is not very sophisticated, although even such an early Aronofsky's film has a character with some kind of obsession - Harold Broadneck, the salesperson, obsessed with fortune cookies. The acting can be considered quite good, especially when no professional actors were hired. I got a feeling that the film lacks background music but this might just be a consequence of being used to Clint Mansell's sublime tracks in Aronofsky's films.
Well, it goes without saying that 'Fortune cookie' is definitely different from all the further Aronofsky's films. It is a good idea to treat this short production as an introduction to his greater works.
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