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TIFF Review: The Factory

When a factory is shutdown a group of former workers decide to kidnap and demand a ransom for the owner.

 A disfigured military veteran (Denis Shvedov) quietly goes about his work at metal factory until the owner (Andrey Smolyakov) shows up and declares the company bankrupt; he surprises some of his co-workers upon suggesting that in order to get the proper financial compensation that they should kidnap and hold for ransom the man responsible for their unemployment.  Friction builds amongst the kidnappers when a private security firm and a SWAT team get involved.

The personal lives of the factory workers are revealed along with the leader of the private security firm (Vladislav Abashine) which paints the confrontation with shades of grey rather than black and white.  It feels reminiscent of Heat by Michael Mann though not as extensively used.  A certain scene with a gym bag cleverly serves as a cool diversion tactic in the vein of John McClane in Die Hard.

There is some ideological/political heaviness with the argument between the military veteran and the owner as well as an Agatha Christie revelation moment with the leader of the private security firm.  Filmmaker Yury Bykov wisely moves the story along by cutting directly from the factory workers agreeing to do the kidnapping to the actual event itself.  Also, there is no quick intercutting between the kidnappers and the private security film so the audience can have a better understanding of what is unfolding on the screen.

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Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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