CINEMA

EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH (2022)

MPAA: NR
Release Date: Tribeca Film Festival (2022)

Genre: Comedy/Horror

Studio: Reel Suspects

"Middle-aged Ines is a diligent worker at EcoCleanPro, a company that sells cleaning products. She is reliable and eager to please, and is always at the beck and call of her boss Patrick. Ines is tasked with mentoring young trainee Melody - whose mother used to work at the company - and she embraces her mentoring role to the sarcastic, closed-off Melody. However, while Ines treats her work seriously, her male co-workers and her boss Patrick consistently belittle her, ordering her to do menial tasks. With her patience running out, Ines meets with Patrick to ask him for a raise, and he proceeds to not only disparage her request, but also grab her violently and assault her. Ines pushes him away as Melody walks into the office, and an accidental violent incident is committed. Melody is now complicit in Ines’ crime, and both women must decide how to cover their tracks and clean up their mess."

OUR MOVIE REVIEW:

What would you do if you were stuck at a job you hated and had nothing left to lose? This is the question posed in Employee of the Month — a French horror/comedy debuting at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The movie tells the story of a fed up worker at a company that sells cleaning products who, quite poetically, has a big mess on her hands.

 

The film follows Ines (Jasmina Douieb), an overworked, underpaid jack-of-all-trades office runner, as she makes one unfortunate decision after another when a horrific accident threatens her life and freedom. Reluctantly along for the ride is Melody (Laetitia Mampaka), a young intern who quickly finds the new gig is a lot more than she bargained for.

 

The film puts a spotlight on sexism, misogyny and pay inequality in the workplace (which are obviously very real issues). It tackles them in a way that is crass and shocking rather than thought-provoking. I have no problem with that per se, but if a film is going to take the very direct approach of “let’s just kill off all the men,” it needs to go ALL IN instead of towing the line. Employee of the Month plays it safe, so what could have been a memorable film with an important message feels more like a one-trick pony that drags on for far longer than its 78-minutes run time. If you're up for a film that feels like a very bloody episode of The Office, then this one's for you. 

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OUR VERDICT: