Watching Scott Prendergast’s Kabluey, the mind keeps returning to Family Guy and how every episode of the FOX program hinges on how wildly, blissfully and absurdly it digresses from the machinations of plot. Recalling the brilliant “No Chris Left Behind,” which is notable for a five-minute-plus sparring match between Peter Griffin and Ernie the Giant Ghicken that interrupts a kitchen-table conversation between Peter and Louis, Kabluey was built around the sight gag of a man inside a big blue mascot costume handing out flyers on the side of a country road. For sure, Prendergast the director is clearly biding his time—beginning with quirky scenes of his character laminating small objects at a fleeting new job, even a shot from inside an actual lamination machine—until Prendergast the actor gets to climb inside said costume and essentially see how his already mundane personality is reduced to that of Sonic Youth’s Little Trouble Girl. Here, the plot is the distraction: Four months prior to his brother returning from Iraq, Salman (Predenergast) comes to the aide of his sister-in-law Leslie (Lisa Kudrow) and her obnoxious two boys when she is left without health insurance. Supporting characters played by Teri Garr and Angela Sarafyan are near-purposeless stray comets in the film’s nutty little universe, and if Salman’s run-ins with his nephews are predictable, so is the Rushdie joke a hilarious Conchata Ferrell’s corporate exec subjects the doofus to, but there’s real wit to Prendergast’s aesthetic. Struggling to squeeze his way into and out of his character’s mascot outfit, Prendergast is perpetually evoking a birthing ritual, but beyond the coup of his Tatiesque performance is his vision of the corporate swallowing the personal whole, which sees a parallel in the faces and routines of most of the film’s characters. The landscape Predergast surveys is a familiar one, and though his isn’t a detonative mind, his understanding of the body as image and form of branding, and fixation with the way people hide behind masks, enriches Kabluey with a striking ambiguity.
- Regent Releasing
- 87 min
- Scott Prendergast
- Scott Prendergast
- Lisa Kudrow, Scott Prendergast, Teri Garr, Christine Taylor, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Parnell, Conchata Ferrell, Angela Sarafyan, Patricia Buckley, Landon Henniger, Cameron Wofford
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