Waydowntown

"Very Good"

Waydowntown Review


A tremendously inventive, ironically relevant big-city-office dark comedy, the sardonic but whimsical "waydowntown" is a sign of our times in workaholic Western society. About a quartet of friendly office rivals who all live and work in an interconnected, high-rise office-mall-apartment complex, the movie begins a few weeks into a bet they've made to see who can stay sane the longest without setting foot outside -- and every one of them is about to crack.

Even with a month's salary at stake and the only the mall to provide amenities like food (and more importantly coffee), none of these young drones thought the others would last this long. Arrogant, insolent hipster Tom (Fab Filippo) has been getting through the days by picking on a suicidal nebbish cubicle mate (Don McKellar), flirting with mall shoppers, visiting his car in the parking garage to get stoned and hallucinating (?) an amateur superhero flying around downtown Calgary, where the film takes place.

Professionally ambitious but trod-upon Sandra (Marya Delver) has been assigned to keep an eye on her elderly kleptomaniac boss, which keeps her harried, high-strung and too busy in the mall to get any work done. Randy (Tobias Godson) escapes ennui by inventing animal nicknames for other worker-resident denizens, and Curt (Gordon Currie) is a cad who spends his time trying to get into the pants of an emotionally fragile co-worker.

But being a ruthlessly competitive, egocentric bunch, by this point in the bet much of their energy is going toward psyching each other out to just get it over with -- and the head games quickly become amusingly ugly.

Written and directed by creative, cutting-edge Canadian filmmaker Gary Burns ("The Suburbanators," "Mondo Canuck"), the energetic, quick-cut, only semi-linear story seems to take place over the course of one extended lunch hour. But as if to emphasize the monotony of their office drone lives, the characters' clothes change colors from scene to scene to scene while their outfits remain the same. Does it take really place on one day, or is it that every single day as an anonymous corporate pawn is just like all the others?

Sardonically funny, charismatic, imaginatively cool and kinetic, the film's modernistic mood is reminiscent of "Trainspotting," "Run Lola Run," "Office Space" and "Being John Malkovich." And it ranks right along with those films as a defining entry in the emerging school of smart, avant garde cinema that may have been born of music video, but has creatively matured and surpassed its MTV origins thanks to young directors' unbridled magic-carpet minds.

Little-seen outside of Canada, where it took the top prize at last year's Toronto Film Festival, "waydowntown" is well worth going out of your way to see if it comes to your city (distributor Lot47 Films is doing a terrible job with the spotty US release schedule). Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled for its video release (a date has yet to be set).



Waydowntown

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 25th January 2002

Budget: $555 thousand

Distributed by: Lot 47

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Fresh: 23 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Tom, as Brad, as Sandra West, as Curt Schwin, as Kathy

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.