Review: Driverless

Written and directed by Charles Pelletier, when all that’s good about middle-class workers meets all that’s bad about corporate millionaires and all that’s wrong with technology, the inevitable result is a hysterical comedy short that slashes the tires of corporate America. Starring: Stephen Foster, Navnoor Singh, Will Roberts, Renee Laramore, Daniel Luna and Donald Harold Burns III.

What Charles Pelletier has created here has both of its feet solidly in the comedy ring but you can clearly see how its roots are pulled from reality. The ridiculous state of the job market and how lack of on the job training or corporate accountability run rampant in today’s society, easily translates into a 1970s-esque, tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. Its comic stylings are incredibly consistent all the way through, it loves a good coincidence and misunderstanding, it’s very playful and old-fashioned. There’s an enjoyable simplicity to it but even if you can see where it’s going, it’s still funny.

The only outlier to its consistency is its scenes using dual roles, they’re a touch more outlandish or over the top compared with the rest. The comedy is still there but they have a different tone which doesn’t entirely fit smoothly with the rest of the film. It was however a good concept to link the story together with its passengers and it would have been great to see it take that even further. The directorial style has a mixed quality, there’s a blend of structured shots with handheld, rough stylings. Again it’s something that doesn’t balance perfectly, it can’t match with the consistency to the story. Although you can see the thought behind it, attempting to lean into the varied energies and pacing of Driverless.

One of the key elements to the success of this film’s comedic timing and tone, is the chemistry and back and forth between Stephen Foster and Navnoor Singh. They’re a lot of fun to watch together, it’s a type of silly, happy-go-lucky atmosphere but that’s then matched with a bombardment of anger and frustration. Meaning that the style and content should be at complete odds but it actually works really well. It also brings a hugely relatable and sympathetic quality, if you’ve never had the type of job or boss that’s driven you to be ready to absolutely explode then you’re extremely lucky but most people will be able to connect with it. The whole cast is a good mix, bringing different personalities but still mostly hitting that same tone to the comedy all the way through.

Driverless is a funny take on the often laughable state of today’s workplace. Writer, director Charles Pelletier adds a nice dose of exaggeration with a classically playful and tongue-in-cheek sense of humour to create an entertaining and relatable story. Stephen Foster and Navnoor Singh are very enjoyable to watch together and the whole cast work in sync with the comedic stylings and timings of the film. It has a few flaws here and there but they’re minor and don’t get in the way of the film’s solid comedy.

Verdict: ✯✯✯½ | 7/10

Winner of Best Director at Cosmic Film Festival – Nominated at Glendale International Film Festival for Best Comedy Short – For More Info Click Here

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