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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

EMPATHY, INC. (Film Review)

                                     Starring: Zack Robidas, Kathy Searle, Jay Klaitz

                                    Directed by: Yedidya Gorsetman


    With all the strides that technology has made over the past decade or so, there really isn't much that can't be done or experience without leaving the comfort of your own home, or without a constricting headset. In Empathy, Inc., the latest film from director Yedidya Gorsetman, the audience follows the exploits of a start-up VR company that has a few...kinks to work out before its product can be fully enhanced - I can smell the pseudo-lawsuits getting typed already.

  Joel (Robidas) is a man who has taken one too many financial gambles on "sure things" and this time it's cost him literally everything but his wife...and her parents whom they'll now be sharing living space with (you lucky fella). When all appears to be completely swirling down the porcelain, he reconnects with an old pal (Eric Berryman) who is all too excited to divulge his latest conception: the company is called Empathy, Inc., and it specializes in VR technology. Been there, done that, you say? Well, the company's edge here is to lodge its hooks into the stinking rich and allow them to experience the feeling of having nothing in value, therefore allowing them to not take what they already have garnered for granted...yeah, good luck with that! Doing what comes naturally to him, Joel then squanders what little he has left, and the lump savings of his in-laws into the start-up company - Joel, will you ever learn?

  This sci-fi/thriller/mystery has so much going for it, the only way to scale it back a notch was to present it in black and white, but even then the added touch of subtlety works as a major plus. The story is not at all complex to follow but keeps peeling back layers like an informative onion, and trust me when I tell ya, you won't cry once this thing fully blooms. I always feel rewarded when a movie takes me by surprise, which is why I now completely abandon all preconceived notions when getting ready to dive into a film review. I usually don't like to rave about a film too much, because there really isn't such a thing as "the perfect film" and while this particular jaunt into the human condition isn't perfect by any stretch, it's still a damn fun blend of a few genres. Empathy, Inc. plays out scenes in such a straightforward fashion that you'll be questioning reality in a few instances, but don't let it sway you - this is well worth a look for anyone thinking about stepping outside themselves...even for a short time.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5

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