Tim Key (“Detectorists (TV)”, “Peep Show (TV)”) is The Narrator as he tells a bunch of friends, in the pub after work, a story about Christopher Cobbler and his overcoat.
Cobbler, played by Jason Watkins (“Taboo (TV)”, “W1A (TV)”), is an invisible man, not literally. He wakes at the same time each morning, eats the same breakfast, says hello to the same people at work – all of whom ignore him – and sleep at the same time each night.
When some of his co-workers tease him about his overcoat, which is tatty, he saves and saves and buys a brand new one. This, strangely, brings him admiration and popularity the likes of which he hasn’t seen before.
So, when said overcoat is taken from him, Cobbler spirals uncontrollably into the depths, it eventually proving all too much for him.
Patrick Myles (“Santa’s Blotto (Short)”, “Anthropopopometry (Short)”) is the director and the man who has adapted this version of Gogol’s story (there have been many versions before and an animated short, with Cillian Murphy, Alfred Molina and others is on the way).
The Overcoat is very funny, dark, but funny and has a feel not unlike a Terry Gilliam film with some of the shots Myles utilises and the brief sojourn into dark animation only adding to the likeness. This is, obviously, no bad thing, in fact it’s an extremely assured piece of work.
Watkins is wonderful as Cobbler, never missing a beat and bouncing of his fellow actors wonderfully, with Dominic Coleman (“Bridget Jones’s Baby”, “Paddington“), playing the tailor, also great.
If you get the chance to see The Overcoat, I suggest you take it. Coats are optional.
Also published on Medium.