Friday 14 May 2010


    So after my last post, I actually watched a lesser-known film. However, I watched it because it starred Sean Biggerstaff, who had played Oliver Wood in the first two Harry Potter films. Needless to say he is quite attractive, Scottish and as a plus point liked by Alan Rickman. Also, the original short film was nominated for an Oscar. Still, it’s a start. It is called Cashback.

    I thought it was some kind of awesome. The story is quite interesting. It’s about an undergraduate art student Ben Willes who starts suffering from insomnia after a break up with his long-time girlfriend. To “trade time” as it is said in the film, he starts working nightshift at a supermarket. Over there, he battles time by pausing it as if in a film and noticing all the beauty around him in the world. He is a painter and is quite enamoured by the beauty of women due to a number of incidents that happened in his childhood, the most significant being that of an exchange student who being Swedish, did not require a walk from the bathroom to her bedroom to be a modest one. With him there are a number of crazy, mainly chauvinistic colleagues and one pretty cash girl named Sharon, who he inadvertently falls for.

    The beauty of this film was in its lines. Ben is an artist who is so in love and awe with the world, yet so unhappy by it. His constant struggles with time and him in it might not be relatable situation-wise, but emotionally it makes more than perfect sense. He is also the narrator, and some of the things he says are:

“Once upon a time, I wanted to know what love was. Love is there if you want it to be. You just have to see that it's wrapped in beauty and hidden away in between the seconds of your life. If you don't stop for a minute, you might miss it."
“I read once about a woman whose secret fantasy was to have an affair with an artist. She thought he would really see her. He would see every curve, every line, every indentation and love them because they were part of the beauty that made her unique.”
“I could feel a faint shift in a faraway place. A current of unknown consequences was on its way, moving towards me like an unstoppable wave of fate.”
“I wanted to freeze time. I wanted to savor that moment, to live in that moment for a week. But I couldn't stop it, only slow it. And before I knew it, she was gone. After the door closed I felt like the last person on Earth.”
“The bad news is that time flies. The good news... is that you're the pilot. “
“She caught the wrong second of a two-second story.”
“Within this frozen world I'm able to walk freely and unnoticed. Nobody would even know that time has stopped. And when it started back up again, the invisible join would be seamless except for a slight shudder. Not unlike the feeling of somebody walking over your grave.”
“You can speed it up. You can slow it down. You can even freeze a moment, but you can't rewind time. You can't undo what is done. I thought about what she had seen. I thought about what she hadn't seen. I thought about how I could explain, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew nothing I could say would make her anger go away. How long could I just wait here, delaying the inevitable?”

    Also, the lighting and the cinematography is pretty apt for these kinds of thoughts and feelings to truly be understood. This film reminded me of Trainspotting mixed with Virgin Suicides. Sean Biggerstaff was brilliant and he was perfect as Ben. His emotions were so clear and beautiful. There were actual times in the film I wanted to touch his face because he felt so utopianly real, heavenly yet sad. The support cast was pretty good too, and essential to show the mundane aspects of life. I especially loved his best friend Shaun who went on getting slapped, smacked, things and drinks thrown at by women, but still went after them in the same sleazy manner.

    I watched the short film after watching this. I wouldn’t be lying if I say it consists of the best scene in the film. But there were other good scenes. The music was commendable too. It was a very good film, but it had some drawbacks- things I just didn’t understand. The time-pausing was a bit confusing, especially when there is another person shown as a time-pauser like Ben but only for a second. Also, the fact that Ben’s entire art exhibit was on Sharron. I am no painter and have very limited knowledge about such things (though there is an interest), still I assume that it doesn’t happen very often and not all the critics die over it. I may be wrong about this point but that’s just my opinion.

    But it really should be watched by more people, and Sean Biggerstaff should get more recognition for his acting talent.


  1. I like the perspective on the movie. I saw the movie twice just to get the feel of the Swedish student walking across the little boys path, and quite frankly I liked it, it was honestly dirty. I remember my sisters doing the same thing to me and quite frankly I don't think the entire movie will be able to explain the feeling I get when I had noticed the exact lifestyle that the man had lived was identical to the way I felt my entire life. Thank you for your opinion.

  2. You're welcome. I guess films can portray life until it's actually your own. Are you an artist as well?