The Dull Lives of the Doll Workers

“Bubble” is an indie film about three workers in a doll factory. They’re ordinary folks leading ordinary lives. Martha (Debbie Doebereiner) is a large middle-aged woman who maternally bonds with a younger co-worker named Kyle (Dustin James Ashley). Kyle is a shy and timid guy and he’s too busy working to ever find a girlfriend. All that changes, however, when Rose (Misty Dawn Wilkins) enters the workplace. Kyle quietly likes her and Martha can tell.

“Bubble” is just one of those films that mimic reality so wonderfully. This is an anti-Hollywood movie. The cast is unknown and the story seems so commonplace. But it is strangely fascinating to watch because it’s exactly that. It seems extraordinary to see something so ordinary in the movies. The characters are not characters. They’re people. They don’t talk in dialogues. They have everyday conversations. It didn’t really feel like a movie, until the story took a strange turn.

By the end, I thought “Bubble” was an interesting film, even if it’s too short on time and story material. To my surprise though, the film’s end wasn’t really the end. I watched the entire movie and I was still unaware of the film’s uniqueness. It says something about the film. It also says something about me as a viewer because I prepared for “Bubble” the same way I prepare for most movies: with little preparation as possible. I make the effort to be details-free. I rarely read movie reviews in advance. I look at the cast, director, screenwriter, and the star rating and I move on. To go beyond is to risk movie spoilage.

If you’ve already seen the film, you can probably guess what I missed out on knowing. But to me, the film works anyway whether or not I was aware of the movie’s experimental technique. I won’t reveal as to what the heck I’m referring to, but for the record, I find Soderbergh’s method refreshing and the result is oddly mesmerizing. On that thought, I deem “Bubble” to be a little burst of cinematic innovation.

Grade: B+

Debbie Doebereiner, Dustin James Ashley, Misty Dawn Wilkins, Omar Cowan, Laurie Lee, David Hubbard, Kyle Smith, and Decker Moody
Screenplay by
Coleman Hough
Directed by
Steven Soderbergh
Rated R for some language