Saturday, 21 April 2012

Office Space (1999)

There seems to be a theme in films I really enjoy these days. The whole young adult being dissatisfied with their life and doing something about it, whether it's wiping your memory, kicking the medication, or in this case, sticking it to the man. Office Space is the story of how rundown office drone Peter Gibbons comes to realise that there's more to life that spacing out in your cubicle and doing roughly 15 minutes of actual work in a week. Alongside this, the company he works for is going through a streamlining process and laying off staff left, right and centre, leaving many of Peter's friends either jobless or scared of becoming so.

The mundane office atmosphere is captured beautifully considering it's such a boring place. From the ever growing stacks of boxes in places, to the faulty printer, to the TPS report coversheets; everything is wonderfully tedious, sometimes to the point of absurdity. As the films inspired by a series of animated shorts it's easy to see that a lot of it was constructed like a series of standalone comic strips, a lot like a sketch show. But it works, and don't think I mean that there's little attention paid to the narrative, because there is, just that there are a lot of scenes that would work well by themselves.

To be honest, there isn't all that much to say about Office Space, except that it's great fun. Even if you've never worked in a cubicle farm, you'll have been in situations or dealt with people like the characters somewhere along the line and been infuriated by them, and a little comedic catharsis can be great for the soul. There's one scene in particular that I'm sure anyone who's ever printed a document in a school/library/office/university can live vicariously through.

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