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average rating is 4 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Oct 4, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Elena Viklova
Written by:
Elena Viklova
Isaac Jay, Richard Riehle, Arianna Papalexopoulos

We’ve all had that dream job that we’ve really wanted, and can imagine doing anything for. Whether motivated by money, ambition or idyllicism it is beyond the bounds of possibility that most people would do irrational and possibly unreasonable things to find themselves getting that job. Though ‘Intern’ first skews towards that angle, it later pivot presents a far more revealing reality, one that, though formulaic, is also funny, witty, and, ultimately an interesting narrative twist.


We’re introduced to a group of hopeful interns vying for a position in some big business’ office. This includes the former “summa cum laude” graduate, Seth (Isaac Jay), who is nervously pushing himself to become the front-running candidate amongst a slew of hopefuls, many of whom are older and possess more experience than him. Stuck in a surprisingly well-lit basement for weeks, Seth carries out a number of inane tasks, such as changing the mayor’s approval ratings from 35% to 95%, and filling out report after report in the hope that he’ll finally get his seat on the table. Eventually, Seth’s two weeks are up, and, having completed a report and portfolio outlining his skills and capabilities for the role, he is desperate to finally get his shot at the big time.


However, try as he might to get an opportunity to speak to the man upstairs (Richard Riehle) he constantly finds himself blocked. Even when a man comes in, dressed mysteriously and suavely like Alain Delon in ‘Le Samouraï’, saying that ‘he’ - referring presumably to the mayor - will speak to Seth, he remains consigned to what seems like eternity in the basement. Forced to take matters into his own hands, Seth comes up against a rude secretary (Arianna Papalexopoulos), who is far too committed to her job, and takes preventing Seth from seeing her bosses far too seriously. The secretary is an interesting character, hellbent on serving her bosses out of loyalty for them, over any kind of respect for herself, and presumably on a reasonably low wage.


The most immediately striking aspect of ‘Intern’ is the lighting, shot with green and yellow hews in dim lighting, that really bring out the colours in a visually striking way. Elena Viklova’s direction is exceptional, giving the film its witty, irreverent edge - not too dissimilar from a Wes Anderson film - particularly towards the film’s conclusion. Each shot feels meticulously framed and lit, giving the film a thoroughly professional feel, and instilling a confidence in Viklova’s direction that is sustained throughout the entirety of the film. This is matched, for the most part, through Viklova’s writing, which maintains the irreverent tone of her directing, with dialogue stilted, though at times a little too stilted, often lending itself to the comedic side of ‘Intern’ rather than its darker, dramatic edge.


Although ‘Intern’ may at times feel a little too on the nose, and perhaps a little too irreverent, it is nonetheless an exquisitely directed film, with something to say about society, and a culture of people who will bow down to the elite without questioning the ethics of their decisions.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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