As human beings, we are subjected to constantly forced to the “work to eat, love, and whatever were suppose to do” philosophy. At the dawn of men, cave people would hunt animals to barter for goods. In today’s society, were all in the pursuit of happiness. To get there, were supposed to work hard and get rich to reach that dream. Is it possible to find a little bit of happiness now? If I was a programmer at Initech, it wouldn’t spot it here. This has to be one of the most frustrating, yet boring of companies to work for. In this comedy classic from 1999, Office Space follows an ensemble of people who are forced to be slaves for morons. Peter Gibbons has to be the Moses and save his people.
Office Space was directed by Mike Judge, who you all know for creating Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill. Both shows are very funny and I consider them some of the best-animated programs in the history of television. What makes those shows special is that despite being cartoons, they feel real and treat themselves more like sitcoms. This movie continues these traditions by being crafted more realistically then Hollywood would have wanted. Instead of a science fiction setting or a Wall Street building, were stuck inside a software programming office in Texas. It could be any other office, but it’s become a prison cell for each character.
Some of these characters include Samir Nagheenanajar who is annoyed by the fact that nobody can pronounce his last name correctly; Michael Bolton, who loathes having the same name as the famous singer, whom he hates; and Milton Waddams (played epically funny by Stephen Root), a meek, fixated collator who constantly mumbles to himself. As I said before, the star of these guys is Peter Gibbons. Just like his friends, he despises his job, wondering if he’s going to do this forever. All of that changes when both sides take charge.
Initech announces their bringing in a consultant, though what they really mean is that their downsizing. Everyone is scared that they’re going to get laid off. To try to make himself feel better, he goes to a hypnotherapist who does before he can snap Peter out of his trance. Now more mellow then Buddha, Peter decides he’s not gonna do the “work” thing anymore. He plays Tetris on his computer, sleeps in, and even walks over management, including his own boss Bill Lumbergh. This guy represents the villain of all motivational management leadership ideals.
Even the soundtrack fits well. It is mostly consists of hip hop/gangster songs. They piece together an outcry from the worker prisoners in the corrupt management. Though some of it feels a little out of date.
Thinking about Office Space has made me realize that in today’s time, the movie has only become more relevant. In a society where recession has hit us hard, the idea of loosing even a bad job is horrifying. But should we be forced to take the pain for the possibility of happiness or to just try and find it now? I think it depends on how you want to see life.
This is getting five swingline stapelers out of five. This is a great movie about work. If you ever feel like your job sucks, watch thich, and be glad thats not you.