SHORT FILM REVIEW
THE MANAGER POSITION
Months after losing his job, Philip is still unable to tell his wife. With no job on the horizon, he returns to his old office.
EVERY MORNING AND EVENING IT'S the same for Philip (Curtiss Cook Jr.) Get up, go to work, come home and then eat dinner with his wife. It sounds like what many would consider the American dream or nightmare. But normal? Totally normal. His wife Liz (Karina Willis) chats about the day, and I imagine she dreams up the cute little quotes she'll include in her husband's lunch the next day. But Philip has been hiding something from her. He's been hiding that he lost his job months ago, and his old office is now just a deserted shell. Oh, the lies.
ODDLY ENOUGH, IT'S NOT JOB HUNTING THAT TAKES UP MOST OF PHILIP'S CALENDAR SPACE...
Oddly enough, it's not job hunting that takes up most of Philip's empty calendar space. You would assume that since Liz is pregnant, I did mention that, right? That good ol' Philip would be hitting the job market hard and attempting to score as many interviews as possible. But alas, that's not the case. Instead, Philip spends his hours in his old, empty office imagining life before his departure.
But The Manager Position is not about Philip's lack of drive but rather his hefty imagination. Eventually, Philip begins seeing other office staff starting with a proud receptionist and ending with an office full of workers of various functions. The audience is also quickly introduced to Philip's rival, who at first is his subordinate. This office is getting pretty packed, and as time goes on, Philip has more and more stories to tell his unsuspecting wife.
UNDERNEATH ALL THE HAPPY-GO-LUCKY ASPECTS OF THIS TITLE, THERE IS A VERY REAL BITTER FEELING.
The Manager Position fired on all cylinders and was a blast to watch unfold, despite some nagging questions and the general depression/self-worth questions it is secretly asking. Everything you'd expect to see in an office is all taking place. Watercooler gossip, making out in the storage closet, everything. But I liked that Craig Trow's film dances with the office structure and pokes fun at it all. Underneath all the happy-go-lucky aspects of this title, there is a very real bitter feeling. Maybe Philip can't tell his wife the truth because he's not as "cool" as you may at first seem. Lying to his wife, daydreaming instead of actually seeking employment. All these signs point to something darker just under the surface. By the end of this short film, that darkness fades a little in the form of a possible honest moment coming out—the redeeming few seconds.
...THE DARKER TONES MADE THE MANAGER POSITION MUCH MORE RELEVANT THAN I INITIALLY EXPECTED.
It all comes down to this. Did I find The Manager Position interesting and entertaining? Without even batting an eye, I can say that I did. The Manager Position is a great example of an independent, micro-budget film done well. The cheery parts of Trow's title managed to put a smile on my face, while the underbelly, the darker tones, made The Manager Position much more relevant than I initially expected. Overall an excellent short film. Four stars.
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