To err is human. Human being and director Robert M. Young has adapted Richard Dresser’s absurdist Off-Broadway play Below the Belt for the screen, and conveniently retitled it for the purposes of this review. Slightly Pinter-esque, slightly Brechtian, and slightly irritating, Error takes place in a futuristic, post-industrial hell where newbie factory functionary Dobbitt (Robert Knott) has been hired as a “replacement checker,” only to be tormented by his manipulative boss (Tom Bower) and roommate and co-worker Hanrahan (Xander Berkeley), who is blessed with the film’s best lines. The plant’s garishly primitive native worker population—largely black—is uncomfortably subjugated by oppressive CGI, which accounts for the film’s peculiar alienation effect, spurring not thought but aversion. On a spare stage set, Dresser’s clever script is allowed breadth for contemplation; here it’s sodden with animated sludge. Watch it with your eyes closed.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 6, 2005