Octagenarian British maestro Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You reminded me of the title of an unrelated Indian film called Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin (which translates to ‘there’s no end to this night’), and, like his stirring and powerful previous work I, Daniel Blake, provided a damning portraiture of apathetic socioeconomic systems that often take the working class population to financial and emotional devastation. The film begins on a superficially positive note when Ricky (Kris Hitchen) – a Newcastle man who’s struggled to hold a steady income since the 2008 financial crisis – is hired as a delivery driver by a franchised courier company, under the false pretense of empowerment and infinite future potential sold by the insanely tough competitive supervisor (Ross Brewster). The job requires him to purchase a vehicle, and hence his wife Abbie (Debbie Honeywood) – who works as a home care nurse for the elderly and disabled – sacrifices her car to help finance that. The lies and spins of the gig economy – luring people into harsh contract labour without any rights or benefits – lead Ricky on an irrevocably downward spiral, both professionally and personally. The challenges start small, but they keep growing exponentially – courtesy the dehumanizing rules and policies, and compounded by the enormous stress on him, his loving wife and their sweet daughter (Katie Proctor) due to emotional difficulties with their son (Rhys Stone) – until they consume him completely. The film’s humanist spirit, deep compassion for its proletarian protagonists and seething anger against a lopsided system that leads those like him to the brink, were complemented by the fine performances; however, the relentlessly bleak and brutal pessimism can be a truly hard pill to swallow.
Director: Ken Loach
Genre: Drama/Urban Drama/Family Drama