GO Review – The Mill

FIGHTING CAPITALISM: Lil Rel Howery stars as Joe in ‘The Mill’, now streaming on Hulu. Picture: SUPPLIED

Genre: Drama, mystery, sci-fi

Hulu’s latest drama, The Mill, is a not-so-subtle critique of capitalism and how people become so caught up in the jobs and that they lose sight of their personal responsibilities.

The film focuses on Joe (played by Lil Rel Howery) an office worker for Mallard Corporations who wakes up in an open-air prison cell with no memory of how he got there or why he is locked up.

An AI that appears on the wall, and a neighbour, inform him that Mallard is responsible for his capture.

He is then forced to work by pushing the mill a set number of times a day, with no real benefits or incentives in return.

After realising that he is stuck in the cell, despite working hard daily, Joe starts to work on a plan to escape and get back to his pregnant wife.

The audience watches as Joe struggles with the vicious cycle of losing his strength and finding his motivation. It is the perfect metaphor of how much workers give to a company in terms of their time and energy and often at great personal sacrifice, only to be disregarded by the company in favour of profits.

With the lack of cast members and use of only one location to tell the story, Howery is given the perfect opportunity to show his acting skills in a role that is not just for comic relief.

There are a handful of emotionally triggering moments, for example when Joe is shown visuals of his pregnant wife, and later, videos of his son.

This is one of the moments that Joe uses to motivate himself to keep going. Themes relating to resilience, determination and humanity enliven the plot with creativity while conveying an important critique against modern society.

The only criticism is that the movie is very slow-paced and can be frustratingly long to get the point. It also relies on the viewer’s understanding of capitalism and the work environment to understand the true story being told.

The Mill is available on Hulu.


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