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We Need Rent Money



‘We Need Rent Money’ Review | Written by Rohan Bhattacharya

In a world where the average audience is absolutely obsessed with mystery, romance, drama, and thriller films, the comedy genre is always a welcome sight! Not because of how rare these films have become in these past few years, but because of how difficult it is to pull one off successfully. The human mind is naturally sensitive to jokes; a beautifully written dialogue will leave a lasting positive impression on the viewers’ minds, while a bland joke may ruin the entire movie for us in an instant. Script writers tend to be extra careful while diving down the rabbit hole of comedy. Blake Evan Laitner, with his brand-new feature ‘We Need Rent Money,’ brings to our plate a hilarious and hard-hitting flick based on a simple premise. Larry, Fred, and Sanders: a trio of absolute idiots, have been kicked out of their schools, and their jobs. While they struggle to make ends meet, their proprietor reminds them that they need to pay their rent in only seven days! Will these characters find a way to pay their bills on time?

For viewers who had seen the famous cartoon T.V show, ‘Ed, Ed n Eddy’ back when they were kids, this movie should make them feel right at home in all the clever ways! Larry, Fred, and Sanders are strugglers. They seem to think they know what is best for them, but unknowingly tend to make their condition worse with every progressing scene. Laitner establishes these characters excellently with the very first scenes when they are introduced to the audience. Fred and Larry are to give a presentation in front of their class and the teacher. Naturally, this turns out to be a devastating failure.

It is hugely impressive how Laitner brings in jokes that would normally offend anyone and presents it in a way that you tend to almost feel sorry for the characters who make these jokes unknowingly and are then kicked out of their school because of that. While all of this was happening, Sanders was home, drowning himself in alcohol until he found an effortless way to earn money: credit-card fraud, and he was quick to indulge himself and his girlfriend in it. While our characters partake in questionable ways of earnings money, they are on many occasions almost busted by police officers! The filmmaker has used a very videogame like narrative to push his film to a younger audience. The film is very reminiscent to how one might imagine a comedic version of ‘Grand Theft Auto.’ Furthermore, the use of popular memes in the script has most certainly amplified the quality of the jokes used in the film.

Laitner tends to use satire to tackle social issues like racism, corruption, and drug abuse. In one scene, a black character is shown to have been killed by a white police officer. The officer casually brushes it off like nothing happened. Similarly, the FBI is shown to be chasing after drug dealers while indulging in the consumption of cocaine themselves. The director has quite impressively stitched these scenes into the narrative without disrupting the flow of the story. Scenes that are otherwise serious are presented in a way that would make you laugh but would compel you to think at the very same time. The script is undoubtedly very beautifully written.

As for technical artistry, the film tends to follow are very standard flow of visual story telling. While all the characters deliver fabulous performances, the sheer lack of variation in shots is clearly visible. There were a few scenes that broke visual continuity, especially when the characters were asked to handle props such as a joint of weed, or a bottle of wine. Nevertheless, the quality of the script, and the actors’ performances tend to overshadow these few errors quite gracefully!

Rohan Bhattacharya is a video editor, filmmaker and writer. His film Komorebi won the second prize in ‘South Asia Japanese Language Short Film Competition,’ organized by The Japan Foundation, New Delhi and his latest film “Tsubaki” has been screened at the Tokyo Short Film Festival in Japan. His production house Sunkaku Productions makes movies in Japanese language to create a bridge of culture between India and Japan.


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