From Office Space to Horrible Bosses, filmmakers love to take a jab at the world of workplace superiors. Mark D. Ferguson’s Mr. Cheval is no exception. The short comedy sets up a familiar formula and then leads viewers down one peculiar rabbit hole. Although bizarre, Ferguson manages a fun, unique twist on the typical “boss movie” in just under three minutes.
Miss Pitman (Elizabeth Baillie) has just accepted a position as a personal secretary for Mr. Cheval (Andy S. McEwan). However, on her first day she learns that Mr. Cheval prefers to communicate via intercom. She is also strictly forbidden from entering his office. Though this seems odd, Miss Pitman obliges. As the day carries on, a series of strange visitors come to see Mr. Cheval. A delivery man with hay bales to a woman with a riding whip. Upon hearing strange sounds from within Mr. Cheval’s office, Miss Pitman enters and she learns of her new bosses’ alarming identity.
The unusual ending of Mr. Cheval is by far its best asset. However, this final scene may have missed an opportunity to shock its viewers. During Miss Pitman’s day there are a few too many hints dropped about Mr. Cheval’s identity. This was truly disappointing since the acting and directing is spot on. A touch more tension and the audience may have found themselves gasping during the final five seconds of the film.
Director Mark Ferguson’s Mr. Cheval accomplishes the rare goal of telling a unique story in under three minutes. His approach to a recognizable topic with absurd humor is refreshing and fun. Always full of surprises, viewers should keep their eye on the imaginative Ferguson to see what he is dreaming up for his next film.