Venice 78: "Full Time" Review
Updated: Sep 13, 2021
A frenetic, spiralling glimpse into everyday infernal routines.
Every cinematic tool is employed by director Eric Gravel to achieve the incessant pace, the film’s true protagonist: music, zooms, camera movements, editing, sounds, and the actors constantly in movement for 90 minutes of adrenaline. Yes, adrenaline, as “Full Time” demonstrates that to increase the audience’s heartbeat you don’t need a heist, a car chase, or someone trying to save the world- just someone trying to save herself, surviving through ordinary life.
Laure Calamy offers a superb performance as a single mother facing interminable issues: raising two energetic children, an unanswerable ex husband, city strikes, a distant workplace for a frustrating job, the quest for a better employment, disappointing flirts and a bank account veering towards the red. There is not an instant of relax allowed, and all these situations keep getting worse, as the camera never leaves her, and the inevitable delays antagonise her in the eyes of everyone else, and she becomes a superficial, workaholic irresponsible mother even the ones trying to help her. Yet, we share her anxieties and concerns, we are aware of her desperate attempts to meet her full time schedule, we know she is just a victim.
The message is inevitable, an admonition that rushing so much eventually serves no purpose, but it is also a deeper reflection on how easy it can be to misjudge someone, without knowing what they’re going through.