Sony // 2007 // 86 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // January 10th, 2009
Cameron: When Uncle Salman goes to sleep, let's burn down the house.
Kabluey is a quiet, slow-paced, wistful, and winsome film that somehow managed to make me smile while painting a lonely blue portrait of people who need to find confidence. Scott Prendergast (The Hottie and the Nottie) wrote, directed, produced, and starred in this micro budget independent feature, and managed to pull off everything without many hitches. He assembled a great cast and filmed in some of the more remote depressing areas of Austin, TX. The comedy works because we believe in the characters, and thankfully this helps the dramatic scenes as well. Kabluey is an indie film worth checking out if you're in the mood for something a little offbeat and loaded with dry wit.
Salman (Prendergast) is an uncertain jittery neurotic mess, and certainly not the person his sister-in-law (Lisa Kudrow, Friends) wants to have come help her out as her husband is off fighting in the Iraq war. Yet the family insists, and soon Salman finds himself alternately taking care of two demonic boys and posing as a nondescript faceless blue mascot for a dying Internet company. He's either being tortured by the kids or sweating his ass off passing flyers out by the side of a lonely stretch of road. By the end of the film we root for Salman to find himself, and notice how much he manages to touch everyone by becoming a faceless blue blob standing on a desolate road.
Kabluey delivers a quirky deadpan charm, and it floats by amiably enough thanks to interesting heartfelt turns by the lead actors. Prendergast takes a role that could have drifted in to trademark Adam Sandler mayhem, and instead chooses to make him a reserved man-child searching for anything to give him confidence. Kudrow makes the most of her very desperate housewife who could snap any second, and it's nice to see her trademark silliness toned down for drama. These two manage to find what's fascinating about common people in ordinary circumstances. Course it helps both Prendergast and Kudrow are known for their offbeat character actor roles, and they always find a way to make the mundane just left of center. Christine Taylor (Tropic Thunder), Conchata Ferrell (Edward Scissorhands), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Supernatural), and Teri Garr (Young Frankenstein) make what amounts to cameos in the flick, but they manage to add some star power that keeps the film from feeling like it was made on a credit card.
The DVD presentation from Sony is just a touch above bare bones. Transfer looks fine even though there is a noticeable wash of grain to most scenes. This looks like it was purposefully done because most details are sharp and crisp. Colors pop nicely, particularly any scene with the "blue suit." Sound is given a surprisingly robust surround mix, which seems far too generous for a little comedy like this one, yet dialogue is clear and delivered well. The only extra on this disc are cut sequences. Deleted scenes list a seemingly expansive 25 separate clips. When watched together they only add up to 17 minutes of alternate takes that add little to the story other than more drawn out beats of things we see in the final cut of the film. But for fans of Teri Garr we do get more of her character, which is a treat. All in all, Sony delivers a great transfer with only a single extra thrown in for supplemental material. It's a shame we don't get commentary or even an interview with Prendergast since he's the triple threat behind the project.
Kabluey is an unassuming dramatic comedy that works much like Jennifer Aniston's The Good Girl by taking us inside the quiet desperation of people stuck in an ordinary rut. It's mainly going to interest fans of Lisa Kudrow or Scott Prendergast, because these two turn in the strongest performances. Not too much happens in the quirky film, but sometimes that's the point of life. The themes of alienation, desperation, and what happens to a family when the father is gone to war all work well inside the story of a man trapped in a blue suit. Kabluey is a wonderful quirky find for fans of independent film.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* Deleted Scenes
* Official Site
* Scott Prendergast's Site