Tom, a man irritated with the state of his unusual relationship, tells a therapist of his problems.

Genre: Comedy

Length: 4:00

Free To View

3.5 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Bindni Karia,

Director/s : Bindni Karia, 

Writer/s : Lakhveer Azad, 

Actor/s : Lakhveer Azad, 


In a pickle

There’s a new super-genre of films that could only have come into being since March 2020, and it’s called “Lockdown films”. The definition is not films about lockdown and the virus, although they are certainly allowed; it’s films that can be made under lockdown conditions, with a cast and crew available within a single household. They can be filmed indoors or in a garden, but beyond that must comply with social distancing. Go-Pros and mobiles come into their own for small-scale location filming, and so do zoom lenses, to allow close-ups at 2m. And mikes on long boompoles, of course, assuming there’s even a boom-operator.

Cardboard was made pre-lockdown, but still fits the genre. One character, “Tom Pickle”, in two places: a therapist’s consulting room, and doing his one-man stand-up show. He talks, and sometimes shouts, to his therapist about his fears of his girlfriend, Linda, going off with someone else. I say talks, but he also shouts and insults him. I say girlfriend, but he may be imagining Linda, or their relationship. He may even be imagining the therapist.

And I say “doing” his stand-up show. He might be rehearsing it, or re-staging it in his bedroom, imagining it, or something else. He’s obviously a desperate, erratic, angry, shouty and probably deeply delusional man, this Tom. If we were in any doubt, the twist at the end (which explains the title) makes it very clear.

Lakhveer Azad, who also wrote this, plays Tom.  Bindni Karia directs this tragi-comedy of desperation tightly. It shows that psychological depth, mystery, pain and conflict don’t need big spaces, budgets and length to have impact.

Having said that, I’d love to see a longer piece about Tom Pickle. Yes, always leave ’em wanting more!

No screener available