Socialist Worker

Keeping Rosy - it's hard to find a rosy future in this competitive society

Independent thriller Keeping Rosy has no truck with managers that tell us we’re one big family—but can’t quite grasp why we are alienated, says Camille Tsang

Issue No. 2409

Maxine Peake plays Charlotte, whose life falls apart after she loses her career

Maxine Peake plays Charlotte, whose life falls apart after she loses her career (Pic: Redemption Films)


Keeping Rosy is a new, independent thriller staring Maxine Peake as Charlotte, who’s done everything to become the perfect career woman in the competitive world of work.  

The film highlights how precarious and alienating workers’ lives can be, whether you’re a “white collar” office worker or a cleaner.

At any moment, your life could take a turn that is seemingly out of your control. 

Charlotte lives alone in Elysium Heights, a new block of flats in central London that’s reserved for the privileged, “virtuous” few. 

But when pushed out of the company, she doesn’t just lose her job. With it, goes her career and the life she’s built up for herself.  

Charlotte takes it out on the cleaner, which leads to a series of events that she cannot escape. 

The film deals with the relationship between workers and their employers. 

In reality, this relationship is not based on some “loyalty” to a workplace or “trust” in the boss.

That illusion is shattered when Charlotte loses her job. It becomes clear that it’s just about selling a commodity—your ability to work.

Loyalty

Despite this, Charlotte tries to get her cleaner to relate to her with the very same ideas of “trust” and “loyalty” that she now knows to be false. 

The film also highlights how contradictory the stereotypes of women can be, both in the workplace and the home. 

When a baby is brought into the office, Charlotte doesn’t really want to see it. Instead, she asks the woman when she was planning on coming back to work.

The new mother isn’t that keen on the idea, which really surprises Charlotte.

This plays to the stereotype of the career women, but later on in Charlotte develops a more ­“maternal” instinct. 

This goes against the idea that they’re different types of women. In reality, it all depends on the way material conditions shape us. 

However, the film does not explore the contradictions in any real depth. 

It’s somewhat nostalgic about the role of the family, presenting it as an unbreakable bond between siblings.

But the saying, “You cannot choose your family” doesn’t acknowledge that the idea of the family comes with its own problems. 

The film is a thriller, but in the end leaves you feeling like there should be more to it.

Keeping Rosy deals with important issues, but only touches them on the surface.

Keeping Rosy is dire­cted by Steve Reeves and is out on 27 June

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Article information

Reviews
Tue 24 Jun 2014, 17:34 BST
Issue No. 2409
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