Boris Kievsky, Konstantin Lavysh
Patrick Cavanaugh, Konstantin Lavysh, Tara Platt
"Purgatory, Inc." Review
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.