In the Aisles | Chicago Reader

In the Aisles

The German film In the Aisles could be a workplace drama, if only there were any drama. Instead, it tries to be a kind of understated, slice-of-life offering that follows workers at a grocery superstore. However, it's a view of blue-collar life from a privileged perspective, which assumes said workers are too trapped to truly effect any kind of change in their lives. Director Thomas Stuber does capture the minute details that make and break their world to some extent. There's the emotional investment in minute tasks, the gatherings where everyone bonds and gossips. But Stuber refuses to allow any action his protagonist Christian (Franz Rogowski) takes to truly go anywhere. It's less a portrait of modern malaise than of the filmmakers' longing for meaning in an increasingly corporate world. Such assumptions amount to little more than yet another casual dismissal of those who are often deemed unworthy of notice.

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