Sorry We Missed You (2019)


The plot of the film follows Ricky (Chris Hitchen) and his family, who have not yet recovered from the economic crisis, live as tenants and are in debt. Ricky gets a chance to recover by taking a job as a courier driver, with the intention of one day starting his own franchise. The courier service hires drivers who are legally self-employed – technically Ricky is his own boss, but gets assignments from the warehouse manager. He and his wife, Abby (Debbie Honeywood), who works as a caregiver, are paid by performance, without a salary or hourly rate. In order to complete their duties, they are at work from morning to night, and their situation will soon, although they stick together, lead to disagreements…

This type of employment does not have a traditional employer-employee relationship, so it gives people the freedom to schedule their own working day, to determine what they will do and possibly, as in the case of IT freelancers, to earn more in a few hours than they would earn during an eight-hour working day. time. On the other hand, without regulations and contracts, there is a significant level of insecurity and instability, because earnings depend on many factors, and in the race for money, flexible working hours become a full-time job.

The central question posed by this film is whether a man can be free and independent if his income, the basis of his life, is uncertain and unstable. In Paul Laverty’s script, we follow a family of four whose daily worries and problems become a nightmare with no chance of waking up anytime soon. The modern work environment leads to financial, physical and emotional consequences, and the source of this film’s strength is that there are no significant developments or revelations, but instead follows the daily struggles of its characters. Their financial and logistical problems are obvious, and the scenario of those problems, as well as the consequences of trying to solve them, turns into a truly believable drama.

Sorry We Missed You is the type of movie that will move you precisely because it is so ordinary. Ricky and Abby live with their children as they know how, but they stand still, even though they do their best, they even sink deeper. Ricky has to work all day to deliver all the packages and we see what kind of problems he faces, such as traffic jams or finding the correct address. Ebi’s salary remains the same regardless of whether the client visit lasted one hour or several hours, because it is paid based on performance. It is her client, who took part in the strike during the eighties, who expresses surprise at what happened to the eight-hour working day that her generation fought so hard for.

As expected, Ricky and Abby are exhausted at the end of the day, and Ricky’s optimism slowly turns to anger and resentment. In their own way, their children deal with the absence of parents, pressure and tension at home, so the older son Seb runs away from school, while the daughter Liza withdraws into herself and has problems sleeping. The film focuses on the daily personal struggles of these characters, which together become an existential tragedy in slow motion. Ultimately, Riki will have to choose between her family and the job that sustains her financially, and we’ll understand that this type of employment may offer higher earnings, but over time it will take everything away.