The portable DoorPG
They say as one door closes, another door opens, but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily go through it. After all, what if something ominous is lurking on the other side of it, waiting for you with intent on doing you harm?
Sometimes it’s OK to just leave a door shut, especially if there’s a draught that comes through when it’s open.
This Sky Original film however, features the kind of door you could make exceptions for, being that it’s magical.
On his way to attend an interview at a coffee shop is Paul (Patrick Gibson). Money is getting tight so a job would come in pretty handy right about now. Just as he’s about to join the queue for interviews, he gets stopped in the street by someone who claims to know him, But Paul doesn’t recognise him at all. This distraction causes him to lose his place in the queue, which is unfortunate.
Then, to add insult to injury, a dog comes along and runs off with his scarf, so Paul quickly runs after him. This leads him down a quiet street, opposite a door with a sign on it reading ‘applicants’. Paul decides to try his luck and go in.
Before he knows it, he’s sitting in front of an interview panel, headed by the boss of the company Humphrey Wells (Christoph Waltz) being asked all manner of questions, for a job he has absolutely no idea what it is. But amazingly, he gets it.
The next day he’s sitting in a small office, opposite another intern by the name of Sophie (Sophie Wilde), with both of them utterly unaware of the adventure their new positions are going to take them on.
British writers have a provided a rich vein of fantasy over the years, everyone from J.R.R.Tolkien to C.S. Lewis to J.K. Rowling and all those other initialled writers in-between.
This film is adapted from the novels of Tom Holt, who incidentally does use initials for his pseudonym K.J. Parker, bringing the terribly British environ of the office with a sprinkling of magic.
Australian director Jeffrey Walker does an impressive job with the material, creating a hybrid world of something akin to Terry Gilliam’s Brazil with Harry Potter. It’s visually unique and striking, with its slightly skewered portrayal of office life.
It could be a little abrasive and harsh, to look at least, but it’s lightened by some wonderful performances, namely from its two young stars. Gibson in particular makes for a warm and engaging protagonist, and the very talented Wilde makes for the perfect foil for him. They are also supported by two pros in the shape of Waltz and Sam Neill, who are obviously having fun within the silly scenarios they find themselves in.
Walker also manages to give it a big budget sheen, on what must have been a reality that was far from it, giving it a credible look and feel of a film with loftier ambitions and a budget to match.
It’s quirky and inventive, making for the perfect film for the whole family. And if the door was left open for a possible sequel, we certainly wouldn’t be against the idea, with its wonderful mix of offbeat humour and charming magical touch.