Cashback - Film Theory & Criticism

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According to the American Film Institute, a love story is a romantic bond between two or more characters, whose actions and/or intentions provide the heart of the film’s narrative. ( AFI's 100 years...100 passions. Retrieved 29 January 2008, from American Film Institute website: If that is the case, then Cashback is a love story through and through. Let’s start from the beginning: Cue the opening notes of an operatic song, Casta Diva by Angela Gheorghiu, and a black screen with opening credits fading into a slow-motion medium close-up of an angry, beautiful girl; “It takes approximately 500 pounds to crush a human skull; but the human emotions are a much more delicate thing.” The viewers first experience a rough break-up between the main character, Ben Willis, and his ex-girlfriend, Suzy. Ben then continues thinking about Suzy, night and day; he tosses and turns on his bed, he watches movies, he reads books, he goes for long bus rides – in short, Ben is turned to an insomniac after the break up. Finding an extra eight hours every day, Ben decides to take on the night shift at his local 24-hour supermarket. There, Ben meets several loud, eccentric characters – Barry, Matt, Jenkins and Brian – and a girl that he will eventually fall for, Sharon Pintey. The movie explores how each of Ben’s colleagues while their hours way, as Ben, himself, discovers an extraordinary ability to pass his time: the ability to stop time. For his night shift, Ben spends his time stopping time and admiring the customers, sketching them. Later on, Ben muses about love, beauty and time – and we can see that the personal reflections by Sean Ellis, the director, had influenced Ben’s views. In short, the movie starts because of a broken heart, and the movie propels on as Ben slowly mends his heart and finds himself, surprisingly,

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