#FilmyFlashback: The Apartment

Another Billy Wilder beauty, The Apartment just goes to proves how perfect the director was at finding comedy in pathos. The satirical drama starts with the corporate slave C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) in his office setting, a homogeneous environment which reeks of monotony. He works in a national insurance company that has floors full of employees just like him. He finds a way to succeed but it isn’t hard work. The key player of the story is ‘The Apartment’. The apartment of Buddy Boy, as Baxter is generally called by his office executives who occasionally use his place for their passionate pursuits. Of course, this is a trade-off. They drop hints of good ratings and promotions and Buddy Boy passes on the apartment key. 

The Apartment - BookMyShow
It finally pays off when he gets the big promotion that moves him to the upper executive floor. But Jeff D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) his boss is just another rat amongst many. Baxter finds himself with a promotion and two tickets for a movie, but again without a roof. He asks the elevator girl, the smart Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) armed with her boyish charm. She says yes, but finally stands him up to go meet with Mr. Sheldrake, who is her married lover. The story unfolds into a hilarious mess which you will thoroughly enjoy. 

The film does an incredible job right from the setting up of the apartment to the office. Every location gives us insight into the characters. The organizational set-up of the office is perfect, which translated into ‘sacrifices’ you need to make to climb the corporate ladder. The apartment reflects the personality of our protagonist who is willing to go far to get ahead. Mostly because his all-too-lonely life shows us no traces of a family, just a job. The plot is engaging and you feel for the characters. Their confusion and helplessness makes you feel for them. Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter perfectly, never taking a stand and almost too greedy to get ahead at the stake of his comfort. He is convincing in the bachelor act with his simplicity and loneliness. Shirley MacLaine plays the dove-eyed fool – chopping her hair to get over a break-up, forgiving the love that almost killed her. She is lovely in every sense of the word. 

You should watch The Apartment for its engrossing plot and convincing performances. 

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