Office Space

Office Space is Mike Judge's directoral debut into the motion picture world and it's an interesting, insightful, and funny look at conformity in the corporate world.

The film is extremely cynical and complex. The plot revolves around three employees at a computer software firm, Initech, who are disgruntled with their jobs and the conformistic lives they lead. Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), the primary protagonist, much like the Lester Burnham character in American Beauty, decides after a hypnotherapy session to regain his individuality. His doing so gets him promoted while the jobs of his friends Michael Bolton (David Herman) and Samir (Ajay Naidu) are put on the line as part of a down sizing campaign. Peter then devises a scheme with his friends to bilk Initech of its money, but it goes awry and he is left to deal with the responsibility of his actions.

Based on the Milton cartoons by Judge (and the one character in the film we pity, played by Stephen Root), the movie illustrates the pitfalls of working in the corporate world, where you become a nameless individual-less drone leading a life of discontentment. There are some interesting messages to take home here, besides the straight-forward one about individualism making you happy and conformity leading to forlornness. But more importantly, contentment comes from within: at the end, when we see the character who has been downtrodden the most "win", he still is not satisfied.

Office Space has plenty of irreverent and humourous jokes, some sentimental moments involving Milton, and decent acting all around. The juxtaposition of gangsta rap to the monotony of the office space is an interesting touch. Worth renting.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala ||