A freewheeling yarn about Manhattan real estate geeks, “Brokers” is a nervy little pic with pep and novelty that could score some modest theatrical play despite its unconventional running time. Prospects are slightly better in ancillaries for the micro-budget black-and-white effort, which will chiefly serve as a calling-card production for the ensemble cast and its writer-directors.
Film focuses on a handful of twentysomethings working in the offices of Fopir Realty. A melange of character and incident, David Goldberg’s script eschews narrative thrust for intimate observation, with characters talking to the camera periodically.
“Brokers” provides the requisite scenes of life in the trenches with clients and sellers. It’s treacherous turf, as the title characters try to second-guess both customers and property owners looking for loopholes that will get them out of paying commissions. In-house maneuvering for leads is, by comparison, quite civil.
Pic rises above being a mechanical walk-through of familiar scenes thanks to a winning cast with lots of heart. There’s an underlying sense that none of the characters is committed personally or professionally to this particular calling, so much of the humor comes from their rationalizing, which dovetails nicely with the first-person camera conceit.
While the roles are clearly types, the actors get lots of mileage out of their quirks. Among the standouts are Peter Saghir, Miriam Serota and Elizabeth McKay. Allie Dvorin, who plays one of the more centered of the group, co-directed with Goldberg.
While there’s no escaping the physical limitations of the production, it maintains a sprightly momentum thanks to Adam Davis’ crisp images and a live combination of original music and songs.