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The Independent Critic

Directed by
Boris Kievsky
Written by
Boris Kievsky, Konstantin Lavysh
Patrick Cavanaugh, Konstantin Lavysh, Tara Platt
Running Time
7 Mins.


 "Purgatory, Inc." Review 
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Having its world premiere at the HollyShorts Film Festival this weekend, Purgatory, Inc.  stars Mad Men's Patrick Cavanaugh as Christopher McNamee, a man who suddenly finds himself, well, dead after being pummeled by a suitcase dropped from an airplane while he was out kayaking.

McNamee is a shoo-in for heaven, with one minor problem. McNamee, raised a Catholic, has led an exemplary life and is happily married ... to a man! A shoo-in for heaven under most circumstances, McNamee is faced with the very real prospect of facing eternity in hell.

At Purgatory, Inc. there's a strict policy against discrimination guided by a philosophy of "We don't judge... We Process."

What's a clerk to do? The clerk (co-writer Konstantin Lavysh) is your not quite so typical office clerk trapped in the eternal bureaucracy that is Purgatory, Inc., a sort of interfaith gatekeeper for post-death distribution of one's eternal existence.  A darkly humorous yet subtly pointed blending of Office Space with Defending Your Life, Purgatory, Inc. is a humorous and well acted look at what happens when paper meets flesh and your very afterlife is determined by the whims of bureaucracy.

Patrick Cavanaugh is a joy to behold as the incredulous McNamee, whose well lived life may very well have been for naught unless a way through the bureaucratic red tape can be found. Likewise, Konstantin Lavysh's clerk is so calm, cool and collected that it seems like he's been deciding these afterlife matters for an eternity. The two actors blend together nicely, underplaying what could have easily gone over the top and turning Purgatory, Inc. into a fully fleshed out and observational piece of dark comedy.

Rob Gokee's original music complements the film's irreverence nicely, while P.J. Gaynard's camera work gives the film a solid intertwining humanity, heaven and hell.

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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