Her Whole Life Ahead

This delightful Italian comedy appears to question reality through the character of Marta, a philosophy graduate who has ended up working in a call centre. The film opens with a surreal musical number in which Marta is an observer. This however turns out to be reality, as the call centre girls do a dance before every shift.
The show Big Brother comes up a lot and serves as a metaphor for Marta’s life in the call centre. The call centre itself is very visually appealing, artsy and high tech, not unlike the Big Brother house. Call centre employees are fired regularly based on their low number of appointments made, similar to the eviction system on the show. It once again makes the viewer question reality.
Furthermore the office reminds me of the film The Island, another film about questioning reality. It’s appearance of paradise, containing a very dark side and even the monthly awards (similar to the lotto in The Island) speak of potential influence from that film.
The actual office set was clearly difficult to film as all of the wide shots, usually during the dancing scenes, are at awkward angles and make the office space look extremely cramped.
One interesting technique that was the use of sound in the scene where Marta is listening to music whilst running from the union guy. When the headphone is in her ear the music is loud, drowning out his voice, but when it is out it the sound is instantly cut. Very simple, but something I’ve never seen used before.
This film ends with a bookend performance containing a musical sequence similar to the beginning.

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March 19, 2009. Film Festival.

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