Directed by: Aline Andrade, Michael Rivera
Written by: Kevin Warren
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Enemy of the People
This short title starts where any good corporate comedy does, with an employee kissing their boss's ass. It's the unwritten rule of office politics; you want to climb the corporate ladder, you have to do a little butt kissing. We quickly find out that what makes Enemy of the People a little different, is that the ass-kissing is literal. The film literally opens up with a man unbuckling his belt, bending over... and you know the rest. It's actually pretty funny although, a little gross.
We quickly get into it from there. The bosses are acting like slave drivers, and a big promotion is just dangling in the wind for anyone who wants to do the most ass-kissing. We also meet Suzy, who seems like she wants to be promoted on merit alone. But with the bosses laughing and joking about the amount of ass-kissing they had to do, things are not looking good for her. It's when we're introduced to Sly that things really take a turn. It seems not ass-kissing can do more than just have you denied your promotion. Much more. This title ends with the ominous "to be continued" line, and by the looks of it, Enemy of the People is not so much a short film as it is the pilot episode of a series.
The thing about this show? It actually is pretty funny, all the way until it is not. It's evident right away that the literal "ass-kissing" is meant to make a statement and be funny. But about halfway into this ten-minute spectacle, it's revealed there's more to this episode. A quickly rising undercurrent of seriousness overtaking the comedic tones. When the attempted murder happens, and the guns come out, it's apparent there's more to Kevin Warren's story of office politics. Much more indeed. This is not an episode of The Office. Not at all.
Aline Andrade and Michael Rivera direct a smart, tongue-in-cheek title that has a lot more going for it than I at first thought. There's some real promise here to make a truly unique series that can be both funny and deliver a message. As for the message itself? Not anything terribly new to anyone who has ever worked a white-collar job, but certainly a new spin on things. Should you be watching for this title? Absolutely. It may be micro-budget, but it's more than watchable and sure beats today's inclination in the indie world for found footage movies. Three stars, out of five.