The Assistant (2019)
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- 87 min.
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I enjoyed this one. The performances were fantastic (subtle, yet powerful) and the plot, although simple and slow, kept me enthralled. Having worked in entry level roles in administration, the film really spoke to me and I easily connected with the main character. I was really impressed at how well Kitty Green portrayed office culture with all of it's politics and power dynamics hidden under the surface. But this time, it's shown through the eyes of a young, naive assistant.
The look of the film was great and I loved how Green framed shots and used cold colors to really portray a sense of rigidness and (you could even say) imprisonment. I also loved the use of squares and rectangles in many shots that helped to convey Jane's rote, unchanging work routine.
The message I got from the movie was something I learned over the years of working: sometimes you have to go with the flow. As idealistic and imaginative as we are, that stuff doesn't fly when you start a 9-to-5 job. We go in, we work, and we leave. Rarely do we get a chance to show our true skills and personality. The main character is conflicted with this because she wants to do what's right but she realizes that in order to succeed, she has to suppress her feelings and just go with the flow. And as depressing as that sounds, that is, unfortunately, the reality of it.
Overall, I appreciated Kitty Green's subtlety and her handling of the how things were conveyed. We aren't hammered over the head with overt social commentary. We aren't spoon-fed information about where Jane works, who is who, etc. She trusts her viewers to be smart enough to understand what is going on. Not a lot of movies do that nowadays.
I recommend this if you've worked in administration or as an assistant- this'll really speak to you. If you like slow, subtle dramas I think this movie would be right up your alley.
very well observed with strong lead performance. I just wish it had taken us a little closer to the heart of the toxicity it hints at. Found it frustrating to be so much on the outside. As i said, very well observed but ultimately insubstantial as the moral dilemma rarely presses upon the action, leaving it realistic to the point of being dull. Which itself could be an achievement. I like the idea of telling this story from the perspective of the assistant who is always on the fringes, but i just wish the whole thing could have been explored more deeply. It was too minimal for me.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!