The Mole

Young corporate executive Angie deals with a disfiguring condition as she climbs her way up the career ladder

Genre: Drama

Length: 19:50

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3 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Ambrose Smoke,

Director/s : Ambrose Smoke, 

Writer/s : Ambrose Smoke, 

Actor/s : Lauren Engels, Jonathon Sawdon

 

Uncertain ambition

Angie is an exceptional candidate as she interviews for a job. It’s in a mega global corporation called “The Global Corporation”, such an on-the nose name that right away we wonder, is this satire, or melodrama?

Lauren Engels carries the film as Angie, as she carries the Mole of the title on her face. It’s not a cute mole, it’s the aftermath of an alien invasion mole. She succeeds not in spite of, but because of it: “It’s my difference that makes me strong,” she says, and lands the job.

She rises on merit, and is offered the post of head of global sales, where she’ll be the face of the corporation. The mole is an obstacle here, but it may not be mentioned – her boss doesn’t tell her to get rid of it, he tells her to “get into shape”, in a nicely handled scene.

Why should you change the way you look? says her friend. Don’t let the mole define who you are, says her doctor.

It’s a confident first film from writer-director Ambrose Smoke, but it does have first-film faults. He tries to cram too much in, such as the rivalry with a colleague that goes nowhere, some musing on social Darwinism, and a misjudged plotline that removing the mole will probably kill her. At a deeper level, the uncertainty implicit in the first scene comes home to roost, because (like Angie), The Mole is conflicted about its identity and ambition. It undermines its own celebration of difference, and loses focus on its critique of corporate values.

It falls between several stools, and lacking the pace to skate over the confusion, it gives us too much time to think. But far better over-ambition that than no ambition at all.