102 Min | Comedy – Drama – Romance | September 2006
IMDB Rating: 7.3
Director: Sean Ellis
Starring: Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Michelle Ryan
Cashback Review: Cashback has got an interesting concept. Ben, a guy whose just been dumped by his girlfriend, suffers from insomnia and takes on a job at a supermarket to use his extra time and make some money during the night. There he gets to know some wacky characters who all have their ways to fight the boredom of their eight hour-shift at work. Ben has got his own technique: he “freezes” time and walks around, looking at the beauty of things (mainly nude women). “Cashback” starts out so great. It’s heartbreaking to watch Ben suffer from the break-up with his girlfriend. Ben starts freezing a moment in time for the first time, that’s the obvious highlight of the film – especially for men, who can watch Ben living out one of their greatest secret fantasies.
Firstly, the character of Ben’s boss has a weird change of personality. Whereas he is kind of aggressive in the time freezing-sequence, he comes across as a ridiculous, but likable dork in the rest of the movie. The tone of the story also shifts curiously throughout. “Cashback” starts out as a clever drama in the vein of “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind”, then all of a sudden there are some totally goofy and uncalled for feelgood-comedy moments spliced in. When the Cashback ends, it has turned into an unrealistic romantic comedy with a sappy ending, leaving the viewer with the feeling of just having watched a strangely incoherent film.
Knowing that director/writer Sean Ellis had to extend his original idea and write a whole motion picture around it, I can see where this incoherence is coming from. It’s a bit of a shame that Ellis wasn’t able to stretch out the feel of the short movie over the course of 90 minutes, but “Cashback” is still an enjoyable little flick with a great cast and some highly intriguing scenes. Definitely check it out, if you get the chance.