The year is 1960 and two men in the corporate world of the Hadley photocopier company are up for the annual two jobs which move people a rung up the corporate ladder. But. But this year there is only one position and when it goes to the older but perhaps less deserving Malcolm, it sees Richard's stress start to become more emotional and less controlled meaning it would not take too much more to really tip him over the edge.
A mixed bag this film. Firstly it does the sense of period pretty well considering it is a student film. The period detail is in there in terms of magazines, costumes etc and it is only really the cinematography and a few other factors that make it feel more modern than it is meant to feel. The plot is a nice setup which leads to a darkly comic conclusion but personally I didn't think the suddenness of it worked particularly well, it was too slow in the build up and although the ending is meant to be a surprise, I didn't think it worked as well as they wanted it to. As a short it runs to almost 20 minutes and this seemed too long to be essentially leading to a delivery which is only a few second long and isn't as shocking or as funny as it needed to be. Considering not too much is added to the build-up by doing it over 15 minutes as opposed to 5 or 10, it really could have been shorter and sharper for it.
The performances are OK throughout, although the "look" of the men doesn't really set the period as well as it does for Maggie. Taylor and Howell are decent in the leads but the material isn't there for them to do as much as they could have. Hampton's Maggie is good though and I liked the slight awkwardness she had around the men. Reid-Edwards as writer and director does a good job in some areas but I do think that the film was a bit too long, needed a tighter script and could have benefited from being punchier in dialogue, characters and the conclusion. Interesting but flawed.
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