The Assistant; Appreciate the Message, But Doesn’t Work as a Full Length Feature. Grade: D+
Updated: Apr 27
The Assistant takes place in a day in the office, of an assistant named Jane (Julia Garner). Jane does the duties of a regular office assistant, tidy things up around the office, printing copies, filing, handling calls. Jane will soon discover the hardships of dealing with a boss, whom abuses his power over women, as if she interferes she could potentially lose it all.
The Cinematography t'was pretty damn good, visually looked stunning. The cast in this film all in all were solid. Julia Garner playing the lead Jane delivers a great performance, easily the best thing about this entire film by far. Showing pure raw emotion with regards to dealing with unhealthy circumstances of being in an office, where the man in charge abuses his power, causing people to look away when he does things he shouldn't be doing. I guess the rest of the cast were good or just fine, the film is more focused on Julia Garner's character.
I begin to be extremely curious about The Assistant, as I see critics rave and the audience flat out hated it. I can see both sides with regards to this film. In a way metaphorically speaking it delivers a powerful message, more towards the themes of the MeToo movement as we allow people in power to take advantage just because they not only have the power, but can instantly destroy someones entire career for attempting to speak out on them. In a way I can see why critics praise this film, as it does deliver a powerful message and executes it's entire point. I can also relate to Jane in regards of being taken advantage of in the work place, doing more than what my job title requires me to do, while other co-workers just do absolutely nothing, so I appreciate the accurate portrayal of this environment. Unfortunately, despite the important message... This film was honestly unbearable to sit through. I felt this film could've been WAY more effective as a short feature film, than a full feature length. Because aside the rare fifteen to twenty minutes of interest, we have to sit through a good hour of being extremely bored of basically watching paint dry. A good forty minutes is just Jane doing office work... Why would anyone want to watch someone do a regular boring office job?! And then another thirty minutes of casual work conversations that can put anyone to sleep. Plot wise... There is no plot, it's just a day in a life of an office assistant doing her job duty where casually every now and then, she has to handle her piece of crap boss. Now listen: Sometimes films with loose plots can be really enjoyable. But if you're not developing any interesting dialogue to your film or engaging conversations, how am I suppose to stay interested in a completely flat storyline that doesn't have a plot?! It just doesn't work as a full length feature. I believe if you made this as a short twenty five minute film instead... Oscar nominations written all over it, no debate on that. But it just comes off as an over longing film, that you can appreciate their attempt in delivering an important message, but you're still left with a whole dreadfully boring hour of just nothing.
Overall, The Assistant wasn't a good film. I don't recommend this film, just do us all a favor and just be less of a prick to women and people in general. -Mitch Smietana