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1 review

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Scott Prendergast

Written By:
Scott Prendergast

Lisa Kudrow, Teri Garr, Christine Taylor, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Parnell, Conchata Ferrell, Patricia Buckley, D'Anthony Palms, Evie Thompson, Scott Prendergast, Denman Powers, Angela Sarafyan, Sammy Harte, Emily Kaye, Matt Hensarling, Landon Henninger, Cameron Wofford, Julian Haddad, Elizabeth Hannah, Step Rowe, Cassandra L. Small, Phil Thoden, Cyrus Thompson, Katherine Willis, Vivan Dugré

Kabluey (2007)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
September 8th, 2008

'Kabluey' is a delightful and quirky little film from director Scott Prendergast; here is a comedy with an offbeat sense of humor, no big laughs, but a lot of light chuckles, this is a subtly and intelligently written movie, with fantastic, low-key performances, the best of which comes from Lisa Kudrow, an underrated actress of remarkable depth and versatility, capable of being very funny, and she is the perfect choice to play Leslie, a mother of two rambunctious boys, Lincoln and Cameron (Landon Henninger, Cameron Wofford), whose husband is off fighting in Iraq. She hires her aimless brother-in-law Salman (Prendergast) to help her out with babysitting duties, and he accepts the offer primarily because he is looking for a place to stay.

He is not prepared to deal with his bratty nephews, but over time, he bonds with them, and with Leslie, even though the two of them never have an affair, which is how many stories like this would have turned out; Leslie gets Salman a job at the Internet company she works for, called Blunexicon, which is struggling to stay afloat, and Salman's part-time position has him dressing up as the company mascot, in a large blue suffocating costume, handing out flyers to random drivers and pedestrians. Most of his encounters are uneventful, most people tend to ignore him, but he does meet a few interesting characters, and interacts with them on a personal level. The film makes sharp observations of human nature, and notes its hypocrisies, and meditates on the tedium of repetitive, dead-end jobs, showing that Leslie and Salman are trapped in the same kind of thankless and bored professional existence as Wesley Gibson from Wanted.

Only they don't have Janice as a boss; instead, she is replaced by Kathleen (Conchata Ferrell), not quite as mean, but outspoken and fond of cigarettes. Cameron and Lincoln could do with some behavioral adjustments, and they have fun driving Salman crazy. They pull a variety of cruel pranks on him, issue death threats against him, torment him as much as they possibly can. It is enough to make on realize the challenge faced daily by schoolteachers around the globe, especially if most children are as tyrannical and undisciplined as these two. Leslie is exasperated, has overextended herself, worries about what might happen to her husband, and one might wonder if the boys' unruliness derives in part from the long absences of their father; Leslie is easier to take advantage of, and the consequences of disobeying her are less severe.

They reject Salman's presence and authority, but they eventually warm up to him, though it is not because he is able to control them; he hardly tries. Prendergast is a talented comedian, and has several amusing gags involving that c*mbersome costume, with its large, orb-shaped head, the restrictions of its bulky design force Salman to put his hands through the rear end and crotch area to claim beverages and other items. Ferrell is a hoot. Prendergast acquits himself well in front of the camera, as well as behind it, and while his performance is not as enjoyable or as multifaceted as Kudrow's, it is still effective and charming, even though Salman strikes us as a bit weird.

He gradually opens up, and proves that he is devoted to keeping his brother's family safe and happy, until they can all be reunited with one another. I mentioned earlier that Leslie and Salman do not have an affair, and they don't, but he discovers that she is sleeping with one of her co-workers; this affair symbolizes Leslie's loneliness, as an army wife. 'Kabluey' is a terrific piece of independent cinema; I had to travel far into NYC to find a theater that was showing it; it deserves a wider audience, and may get on depending on its success in big city circuits; if you live in LA, New York, Chicago, or Philadelphia, check it out, it is playing in those areas, I believe.

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