Downtrodden office drudge Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) works overtime as a classic loser. He labors anonymously in an antique wooden cubicle à la Brazil, doing everything wrong while being picked on by his bosses (Wallace Shaw, James Fox), a boss’ daughter (Yasmin Paige), the fellow underling he has an eye for (Mia Wasikowska), and, eventually, his arrogant, overbearing doppelganger. Kafkaesque? No, Dostoevsky-esque. Director Richard Ayoade’s trying adaptation of the Fyodor Dostoevsky novella demonstrates why that Russian author has been a favorite of university freshman lit students for decades. It’s a decent actors’ exercise, but… By the second half, we’re paying more attention to Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” and other obscure retro Japanese pop tunes on the soundtrack than to the reductive plot line. The UK production costars Cathy Moriarty, Paddy Considine, and Sally Hawkins, with screenplay adaptation by Ayoade and Avi Korine (93 min.).
Director: Richard Ayoade
Producer: Robin Fox, Amina Dasmal, Michael Caine, Graeme Cox, Tessa Ross and Nigel Williams
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Rade Serbedzija, Cathy Moriarty, Gemma Chan, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Yasmin Paige and Chris O'Dowd