Delightfully witty and sardonic, Resting gives us an insightful, tongue-in-cheek look at the everyday lives of three actors as they deal with the banality and tedium of their temporary jobs whilst waiting for the pot of gold at the end of any resting actor’s rainbow… an audition.
Melissa Hart, played by Lauren Reed, who also penned the screenplay works part-time as a barmaid at the White Hart public house. She has plenty to deal with. Her manager doesn’t know, or doesn’t want to know her name, referring to her as Meredith, Melanie and Miranda at various points in the film. To make matters worse, she is left in charge on her first day, having to cope with a busy bar, unsatisfied customers wanting food and towels for their room, not to mention a drunken chef whose ineptitude sets off the smoke alarm. Melissa tries in vain in her attempts to remain in control of the situation and in true French farcical fashion we know how things are going to turn out for poor Melissa.
Our next actor, Jo Jackson, portrayed by Sydney Stevenson works in recruitment. Right from the beginning we can feel Jo’s frustrations as she deals with one stupid person after another, from the man who cannot comprehend pushing a door open, instead of pulling it, to the creepy, dark-haired women asking for a job. She is forced to work overtime, cleaning up a disorganised, chaotic store room with reams of papers and boxes scattered everywhere.
The third woman, Kate (Isla Ure), works in a sales/cold calling environment. It’s quite vague what she actually does, but for fifteen pence commission (which she has to forfeit!), do we really care? Kate deals with a condescending, pretentious supervisor and troublesome people on the telephone as, like Melissa and Jo, she tries to get through her day from hell.
Alastair Clayton’s accomplished direction helps this film flow well, lending just enough camera time to each actor in order to tell a connected story through seemingly unconnected resting actors. They each have the same idiosyncrasies, aspirations and ideals and are essentially composite characters made up of each other. One person, split three ways, and yet, in a way, uniquely themselves as their reactions at the conclusion demonstrate.
We empathise with each actor, maybe because we all come face to face with hopeless situations ourselves. We can relate to the three women easily and feel for their predicament. Cribbed, cabined, confined, as Shakespeare put it. We all feel desperate and rejected sometimes when things get too much for us.