In spite of the caveats, Steve Gelder takes the role on with a really funny sentiment that makes the title character in the film worthy of a viewing. Gelder takes the character on with finesse, and adds a sense of dimension that brings this character into a different view as this person who is so pathetic, and yet so oddly compelling. His delusions keep us wondering, and Gelder really dives into the role. Unfortunately, much of the comedy played for, during “Cabbie” doesn’t quite hit the stride as much as it wants to.
The concept of cabbie is a man who takes his job so seriously that he exaggerates the purpose of the cab driver in American cities. He’s a bit of a loser, a bit of an optimist, and takes his role with great importance. And sadly, Brussel’s can never make the format of the documentary following this cab driver around funny or entertaining enough to pull us in. I was just curious what the actual purpose was beyond this one little concept that was more worthy of a film a little under ten minutes long. “Cabbie” drags on for almost thirty minutes, and never inspires too much chuckles from me.
And that’s saying a lot since the concept is so genuine and sharp. An aspiring cab driver who idealizes the job of driving a taxi is rich, and it just never reflects onto us on-screen enough to garner laughter, or even chuckles. The movie just seems to use the jokes for the purposes of a preamble for the convenient finale which is intent on delivering a pretty funny surprise ending that really didn’t work as well as it should have. Overall, it’s a pretty flat experience, but one saved by Steve Gelder who manages to take the inept character to a pretty interesting level. Brussel’s short is sadly laughless, and predictable, but it has a unique concept fit for a shorter format.