Directed by: Ashley Tabatabai
‘’Do you believe in you?’’
Ashley Tabatabai brings us an intriguing short film The Interview, depicting the struggles of trying to fit into the new modern world of emotionless zombies, desensitised and dumbed down. A world where time equals money and money equals time, where our self worth is based on the number of followers, views and likes that we get on our social media post.
Before we are even introduced to our characters we hear from a blank screen ‘’our video had way more views last month’’ and that certainly sets the tone of the short story of Robert. Heavily focused on dialogue and intensified using extreme close ups, the film attempts to explore how society is driven by insecurities which are artificially constructed in order to gain profit, as setting unattainable ideals for people allows for their exploitation. Injected with false ideals, perfection and utopia, the film asks the big question of how far are people willing to go to succeed in a world where everyone is your competition and not your friend. The film also offers an interesting insight into the crisis of masculinity in which young men struggle to obtain their status and prove their masculinity.
Anxiety fuelled, with sweat dripping from every inch of his body, a briefcase in his hand and dressed in what can be described as a suit from your granddad’s wardrobe, we meet Robert, a middle aged, balding man, lacking in confidence, with bills to pay and a family to feed, Robert is desperate to find a job, any job and as we later find out he is willing to do anything it takes to prove his worth.
In an American stylised dinner setting, one similar to Tarantino’s one in Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction, Robert is about to endure the dreaded interviewing process for a new job. Two worlds collide and come face to face when Joseph Green, the interviewer, greets Robert, or perhaps merely acknowledges his existence. Joseph embodies everything that you desire to be. He is the goal, the end product of the new world where the only thing that matters is money!
Joseph and Robert could not be more different, even if they tried. With Robert sheepishly calling himself Bobby, and serving his insecurities and vulnerabilities on the table for Joseph to devour, Joseph on the other hand oozes coolness with his sharp handsomeness, waves in his hair and the soul devouring look. Joseph is the walking advertisement of what the modern world promises and tries to sell. He is the modern man, assertive, metrosexual; he is a leader, an inventor and most of all, a man of success. The main theme of short film The Interview focuses on opposites which contrast heavily to reveal the division of the modern world and the 'old' desperately trying to catch up. This particular theme is explored through binary opposites of success and failure, superiority and inferiority, as well as confidence and shyness.
If failure had a face and a name it would be Robert; it’s almost as if the film is trying to warn us that if we don’t give into the demands of the new world, then we will meet his fate. But hey, don’t worry, we can all succeed, right? Joseph sells us the American Dream of the new millennium! So what is it that we ought to do to be this man? Well, first and foremost we must be tenacious as Joseph suggest; we must enter the infamous rat race.
The sharp #cinematography further helps to establish the pressure of the competitive world, crushing and falling. The strong power play is prominent not only through the visual iconography, but through language; Joseph is the puppet master and Robert is his puppet.
Overall, the quirky short film is a very intelligent commentary of society. With superb acting from Ashley Tabatabai and Scott Michael Wagstaff, the #shortfilm is humorous and witty with a strong message, leaving the audience hungry for more!