I watched a somewhat strange foreign film the other day on TUBI TV: The Saver.
If you like foreign films, this isn’t bad. It’s well acted and the story moves along. The problem is that the central character (a 16-year-old girl with some Indian blood) isn’t very appealing. But I do believe she is realistic.
Her mother has recently died (no father around, of course) and she decides to blow-off social services (it’s always some white woman who wants to help her) and instead go off on her own. Her prospects are dim but she finds a book on how to be a millionaire by saving (thus the title of the film) and that’s her plan.
She begins working two or three jobs, with a barely-there teenage attitude at times (lots of excuse-making) although she’s mostly competent. There is a semi-interesting cast of believable characters. This tends toward a “if people of color stick together outside of white people, we can get along” theme. But she goes to work for a black chef who eventually fires her for not showing up on time. So there.
And, of course, there’s the theme that “bitch, demanding, unpleasant people are just misunderstood.” One the girl’s jobs is a a sort of manager/janitor of a small apartment complex. One of the tenants is a white woman who is harsh and always complaining about something. And, of course, there is a can’t-we-all-just-get-along ending to this story which isn’t unbelievable but a grittier and more realistic ending might have been better — not all relationships can be repaired.
But whatever. This is a foreign (Canadian/French) film. “Foreign” means just that. You expect it to be a bit different. In fact, that’s why I enjoy watching them, Hollywood’s fare having long become stupid, vulgar, violent, and trivial.
Of course, what I’m thinking while I’m watch this is that she needs the guidance of a good man. But that’s been all but outlawed. And because she’s eschewed social services, there’s nothing left to guide her but instinct, a book she’s read, and her willingness to work. And she, of course, somewhat falls to pieces. But thank goodness for the entry of her Wise Indian Ex-con Uncle who now is benevolent and full of the soft, reasonable, and patient wisdom of the ages. Prison life can do that for you.
But Uncle Jack is an interesting character. He comes into the movie late, but his presence is much needed by the girl in order to start her moving in the right direction. And as one of her bosses tells her, and I paraphrase: “You need to learn to do one thing well instead of several things half-assed.” This was a white man who said this to a “person of color” so I’m quite sure some offense occurred.
And it’s not that I’m race-obsessed. Nor do I think this movie is race-obsessed. The fault is my own. But movies like this just seem always to be a parody waiting to happen. Fortunately, this one doesn’t do anything overtly goof. It just seem to be hovering in the background.
For a foreign film, it meets the threshold of watchability. But just barely.