The Insurance Man | Chicago Reader

The Insurance Man

This 1985 British film, directed by Richard Eyre and written by Alan Bennett, centers on a young dye-factory worker (Robert Hines) who breaks out in a mysterious rash. As he seeks help from state bureaucrats, the treatment of his case grows increasingly Kafkaesque, until the reference is made explicit when we learn of a Dr. Kafka (Daniel Day-Lewis) who might be able to help him. The script is full of odd phrases that heighten the bizarreness of a bureaucracy that seems dedicated to avoiding giving help to those in need, though this parody strikes a possibly pro-Thatcher note. The almost baroque lighting seems mannered, even decorative, which somewhat blunts the intended social commentary.

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