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CASHBACK

SYNOPSIS:
When art student Ben Willis (Stuart Biggerstaff) breaks up with his girlfriend Suzy (Michelle Ryan), he develops insomnia; to make use of his time, he gets a job on the nightshift at the local supermarket. Here, to fill in his time, he begins to imagine time freezing - and gets a crush on checkout girl Sharon (Emilia Fox). Shy and unsure of himself, Ben lives more in his imagination than in his real life, but when a fateful prank gets his art noticed, things start to look up for him.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This inert movie, in the style of early sitcom, fails the first test by having its central character as the least interesting of all the ones on the screen. Ben (Stuart Biggerstaff) is a dull and uninteresting fellow whose dumping by the vivacious and interesting looking (we don't get to know her very well) Suzy (Michelle Ryan) is well deserved. He then sulks himself into insomnia, which is a fairly boring condition for a dull screen hero.

It takes 30 minutes for this first act to wind its way to the transition when Ben gets a job on the nightshift at Sainsbury's in a London suburb. The characters he works with are ready made idiots from British TV, except Sharon (Emilia Fox), a subdued blonde who becomes Ben's secret model as he doodles his way through the nights. We don't get too much of this, though, being kept amused by the antics of rude boyish humour as Ben's colleagues have the goods from the shelves rolling in the aisles. If only it were us.

All the while, Ben is narrating his story and his thoughts, and doing so in a monotonous and unengaging way, ensuring ennui.

There isn't much of a story, but writer director Sean Ellis enjoys freezing the action around Ben, who imagines time standing still and him walking around between statute-esque shoppers - and of course Sharon.

The film's other trademark is a voyeurish addiction to female nudity in a soft porn sort of way, which might be the only thing that attracts young males to the film. Stock standard writing and jaded cinematic ploys are served up with such absence of energy that it might be the real cure for Ben's insomnia.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

CASHBACK (MA)
(UK, 2006)

CAST: Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Shaun Evans, Michelle Ryan, Stuart Goodwin, Michael Dixon, Michael LambourneMarc Pickering, Nick Hancock, Daphne Guiness

PRODUCER: Lene Bausager, Sean Ellis,

DIRECTOR: Sean Ellis

SCRIPT: Sean Ellis

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Angus Hudson

EDITOR: Carlos Domeque, Scott Thomas

MUSIC: Guy Farley

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Morgan Kennedy

RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 19, 2007







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