2018 Film Challenge: 49. Cashback

It was the final film on the list, so I’d love to say that it ended things on a high, but it really didn’t. I downloaded the film after it came up on some kind of online list – weirdest films, or something like that (probably this one, actually, as I’ve now watched a lot of those!). It sounded interesting and it’s somehow got a decent rating on iMDb, so I was expecting something pretty good. I was hugely disappointed. There are a few interesting ideas in it, which could have made for a good film if done entirely differently! The tone of it is really confused – it sometimes seemed like it was trying to be artsy and thought-provoking, but then bits of it were completely facile and slapstick. There’s also a disturbing level of misogyny running through it, which was possibly less jarring back in 2006, but makes for a decidedly uncomfortable watch now. I did briefly think that this might be intentional, but that optimism didn’t last long.

Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • It’s whats-her-name from Eastenders
  • Why would you ask that??
  • Emilia Fox!
  • Ugh, I thought he seemed like a creepy dude
  • I’m not really taking to him as a protagonist
  • Ha ha ha, I’ll never look at those shampoos in the same way
  • It’s all gone a bit Wild Ones music video
  • Hmm, bit creepy
  • OK, yeah, definitely creepy. I guess we’re not meant to like the protagonist. At least I hope we’re not.
  • Is that the guy from Teachers? *checks* Yes!
  • There are uncomfortable levels of misogyny in this film. It feels like it should be an older film than it actually is.
  • Ughhhhh, how and why did I read positive reviews of this? I hope it gets better.
  • Ah, the extent to which I don’t care about this football game. Am I meant to care? They’re all awful people.
  • Is a monster going to get him? Fingers crossed.
  • X-Filesy music
  • Ooh, OK that was kinda intriguing
  • Did they need permission from Sainsbury’s to make this film? Because it doesn’t paint them in a good light.
  • I wish I could speed time up so that this film had finished already
  • It’s him! From Fringe!
  • Of course that’s what’s happened
  • This film’s ridiculous
  • I’m not sure if that’s flattering or hella-creepy. I think more the latter.
  • Disappointing choice as a final film

As I have a love of lists and charts, I’m going to be ranking these 49 films by personal level of preference. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that this film won’t be high on the list! I’ll be posting the list on here tomorrow. Then on Wednesday I’m planning to post my Top 50 Albums of the year! Mmmm lists.

This entry was posted in Films. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 2018 Film Challenge: 49. Cashback

  1. Crashing Elliptical says:

    The final film on the list, and it was one I hadn’t heard of before. It is also one that doesn’t appear to be on any of the streaming sites, so I bought it used on Amazon. When the DVD arrived, I can’t say I was expecting much from it. The case features insightful quotes from those renowned Cinefile magazines Loaded and Nuts (“Sexy Brit Flick” and “Top babes” respectively), so my expectations were not very high.

    I don’t think you can really talk about this film without mentioning the misogyny, the scene of him in the supermarket sketching the women was just really creepy, and came across like some teenage fantasy of the director.

    I was also really confused about when it was supposed to be set. The film was released in 2006, however Ben was talking on a pay phone and watching a CRT TV, so I was initially thinking late nineties (i.e. before mobile phones were as prevalent, and certainly before flat screen TVs were). However Jenkins mentioned Russell Crowe in Gladiator, and that came out in 2000. Then Ben, who is in his final year of art college and so would be around 20, is shown in a flashback watching the 1984 Olympics. In this he looks to be about 10 so that would put him as having being born in around 1974, but then that would mean that based on his current age, it must be around 1994. I realise it doesn’t matter, but I like things to be consistent!

    I was also confused by the freezing time thing. Was this just a daydream to pass the time in the boring job, or did he actually have some sort of power? The scene right at the end suggests it was real, but then I have like a million more questions about inconsistencies in this film!

    I agree with you that the tone was all over the place. The narration at times suggested it was trying to be thought provoking and philosophical about the nature of love, and beauty and so on, but then you have scenes of the lads in the supermarket who were, for want of a better phrase, just dicking around. Then there’s the really awkward nudity that doesn’t add anything, like if it was all cut out, it wouldn’t affect the plot in any way.

    Having said all that, I didn’t hate this film as much as you did. I did like Emilia Fox, and the odd slapstick moment did raise a smile. Thank you too for mentioning that the guy playing Sean was JP from Teachers, it was driving me mad trying to work out where I knew him from!

    Overall, I can’t really recommend this. I also can’t believe I’ve written quite so much about it!

    • Chantal Chantal says:

      Apologies that you now own this film!! I kinda wish I’d seen the DVD cover as it might have put me off downloading it. How it has a 7.2 rating on iMDb and was included on a list alongside films like Mulholland Drive and Melancholia is completely beyond me.

      I didn’t pick up on the weird time period inconsistencies, but yeah, that is an added confusion.

      I thought the most interesting and promising part of the film was when he sees someone else moving around within the paused time. But then nothing really comes of that! He doesn’t see them again or find out who they were. It seemed like such a wasted opportunity.

  2. Crashing Elliptical says:

    It only cost about £1.50 including postage, so I’m not too badly out of pocket!

    Yes, I meant to mention the other guy, they totally could have done something with him. Have him as an antagonist who has the opposite beliefs to Ben, like in Tru Calling or something, always re-starting time before he can start sketching the women or something.

Leave a Reply