CATHARSIS

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 12 minutes
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If you’ve got a bad day going at work and the boss is a hassle as always, ignore the creature for a bit and click over to see “Catharsis,” about another bad work day, this one faced by Dave (writer/director/editor Dhaval Mehta) a telemarketer, and that should say enough. You think you’ve got it bad with some of your work being turned back by the boss, asking for improvements, imagine this guy, forced to sell a certain number of subscriptions set by his boss (Christopher Prusynski), an impossibly high number with how local a newspaper the Lamron seems to be.

How can Dave expect to wake up every morning, knowing that it’s another day of hang-ups, complaints (an especially good one where the man on the phone demands to know why no women responded to his personals ad), and a co-worker getting subscriptions unconventionally? There’s got to be something better for him and while it’s not in the form of a mysterious man on a street corner, rich beyond riches, who sees talent in Dave, it’s unique that Dave’s newfound happiness and escape from work is within the workplace. Dhaval Mehta not only channels so accurately what it is to be beaten down by work (it seems like he may have had a few jobs that were just like this one), but his dancing is entertaining as well. And he’s also adept at irony where there wouldn’t usually be any, such as the “man on a mission” music he employs when Dave walks into the office, slump-shouldered.

Mehta also spends a few seconds more than there feels like there should be on a shot of Dave brushing his teeth but really, his line of work includes the kind of dread that would make someone want to spend more time standing in front of the sink, hoping that somehow, there’s something in the sink that will pay his bills and allow him to spend the rest of the day on the couch watching “The Price is Right,” and feigning curiosity about the soap operas that are on. Dave knows that work sucks. We know that work sucks. But like Dave, there has to be the belief that there’s something better, even if it’s not somewhere else that makes the day bearable. And, when viewed at work, it just might have that effect. It’s a good one.



Posted on April 23, 2007 in Reviews by
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