Published Apr 01, 2006Don't let the title fool you; this film runs much deeper than the yuppie-gone-mad tagline some critics have given it. David Christensen has created a dignified urban epic that unwraps itself like the patterns of emotional abuse it portrays. As Louise (Deborah Grover) tells us near the film's conclusion, "Nobody knows anybody."
Warner (J.R. Bourne) lives in a cramped townhouse with his wife, Claire (Caroline Cave), and their two children. While buying a house in Calgary's competitive real estate market, he learns his job isn't as secure as he'd like, and when he asks Claire to reconsider, they fight. On the same afternoon, Claire is attacked; Warner emerges as the prime suspect.
Instead of feeding us simple answers, Christensen explores the complex origins of abusive behaviour. The real revelation is how Six Figures shows us our own selfish projections, especially when Warner's mother admits to hitting him as a child and blames him for making her recall it. Warner, like all victims of toxic relationships, apologises instead of taking a much-needed stand.
Bourne deserves a Genie nomination for his work as an underpaid executive at a not-for-profit organisation cleverly called M.O.R.E., and Cave's passive-aggressive tactics will make you cringe. The abuse suffered by Warner at the hands of his mother, his wife and even a parking lot attendant is coloured with such deft realism, you could be fooled into thinking you're watching surveillance footage, and like Steven Shainberg's Secretary, the film has a final scene that'll haunt you long after you leave the theatre. Six Figures is an excellent film. Don't miss it. (Seville)