One of the most genuine and sincere filmic representations of human life that I've seen in recent months. I originally thought that it was overly ambitious, as the director focuses on the lives of upwards of a dozen characters during a course of the day, attempting to share their individual struggles and paint an accurate picture of their personalities. Directors often encounter difficulties in breathing life into one character, but somehow this film manages to show the inner substance of all of these people.
The story revolves around the decision to close a diner in Brooklyn due to economic shortfalls. It looks at everyone: the ethical conflicts of the restaurant owner, the hard-edged competitiveness of the businessman behind the deal, and even the ex-junkie dishwasher's story. It makes a point of avoiding, perhaps even negating, stereotyping based on racial backgrounds, gender, age and every other social factor.
The world shown in Everyday People is a world of problems and hardships with no direct solution - it merely offers the viewer an understanding, something which is extremely undervalued. There is a certain bleakness that arises from this postmodern realism, but McKay doesn't leave you with the sense of futility and sadness. Rather he helps break down the sense of social alienation in the viewer through this truly compassionate and impartial gaze.
Everyday People is comparable to Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989), but I would argue that it's more subdued and mature exploration. Do the Right Thing has a more progressive story that builds up to and revolves around a central intense climax, whereas Everyday People is merely a snapshot of these people's lives with some minor character growth. Also, I feel that Do the Right Thing is also heavily biased in its initial premises, which Everyday People is generally free of.
Solid script, solid acting, (all the actors are more or less "unknowns") and an amazing final product. This is one of those movies that will never get the recognition it deserves.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this