"... once upon a time, I wanted to know what love was. Love is there if you want it to be. You just have to see that it's wrapped in beauty and hidden away in between the seconds of your life. If you don't stop for a minute, you might miss it." (Ben Willis, Cashback)
Cashback is one of those films that stays with you for a while after having watched it. The cast is perfect, specially Sean Biggerstaff as Ben and Emilia Fox as Sharon. Ben's thoughts about love, life and art are amazing, and his ability to stop time and pretend that everyone and everything is in a time freeze except himself, is one of the most original things I've ever seen. He's an excellent art student, and he finds in his co-worker at the supermarket, the beautiful Sharon, the muse he needed, and someone who helps him to believe in love again.
Besides the great funny and drama moments, the most interesting thing of this film it's not the story itself, but the way it's been told, and that's why this film is one of the most beautiful works of art I've ever seen. It's an ode to the art of painting and to the beauty of women. Ben says during the film: "I read once about a woman whose secret fantasy was to have an affair with an artist. She thought he would really see her. He would see every curve, every line, every indentation and love them because they were part of the beauty that made her unique". And that's exactly what he does with Sharon.
The whole idea for the film and some of its scenes are taken from a short film with the same title (Cashback, 2004) starring the same actors and also directed by Sean Ellis, that was nominated to the Academy Awards as best short film of the year. The 2006 film was nominated in some festivals too, and it was premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. The photography is stunning and mesmerizing, which is not a surprise considering that Ellis, the director, is a well-known photographer who has work with magazines such as i-D, The Face, Dazed and Confused or Vogue, and who also has realised campaigns for Nina Ricci, Dior, or Cartier. The soundtrack composed and arranged by Guy Farley is great too, and one of my favorite songs is the one that appears on the credits, the haunting song "What Else Is There?" by Röyksopp: