The icky British independent drama Cashback focuses on a pervert who thinks he’s a romantic. Ben (Sean Biggerstaff) is a morose art student who spends his grocery-store shift freezing time without anyone knowing, stripping the attractive women of their clothes and then sitting back and ogling – I mean, sketching pictures of them.
Writer-director Sean Ellis plays all of this straight – Ben goes on and on in an endless voiceover about the artistic concept of beauty – not seeming to realize that his hero is doing a lot more objectifying than appreciating. Isn’t it a coincidence, for instance, that by freezing these women Ben doesn’t have to bother actually talking to them? The topper comes during Ben’s climactic art show, which is a series of photos of a coworker (Emilia Fox) unwittingly half-dressed. She walks into the gallery, sees the images and is immediately smitten with Ben’s talent. I think I’d rather get my underwear back.