A graphic designer works late an ad agency, racing against the clock. She’s got to finish a campaign for an important campaign for a watch company, but just can’t seem to bring herself to get it done.
Writer-director Matthew P. Rojas has fashioned a short workplace comedy about something that many of us can relate to: procrastination. Like many of the best comedies, the pacing and storytelling is compact, brisk and pared-down, giving viewers only the essentials to get the jokes.
But the film also possesses an excellent sense of craft, and with its moody cinematography and dynamic editing and shots, it is often shot like a moody, kinetic thriller, which adds to the comedy of the situation. For the main character, her situation feels very much like a life-or-death situation, and each aberration from her usual routine harbors a sense of danger.
The film then takes a surreal turn, amping up the stylistic ambition and landing a big, unexpected punchline. But in the end, the designer’s biggest enemy is really herself.
“Always on Time” captures the absurdities of modern life particularly with how we relate to time, deadlines and the way our inner experience is shaped by these expectations. Its final shots should prove satisfying to anyone who’s labored under a tight deadline or raced against the tyranny of someone else’s timetable.