16th October 2015 8.45pm at Vue West End
16th November 2015 9.25pm at Vue Islington
17th November 2015 12.00pm at Vue West End
An adaptation of Sylvia Chang’s play, Design for Living, Office is the cinematic embodiment of the phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none,” as director Johnnie To crams a plethora of skills from an admirable career into one film. The result: a musical tale of office romance and betrayal in a company populated by a staff who all are slaves to their careers.
We follow multi-million dollar company Jonnie and Sons as it prepares to go public, resulting in an IPO investigation of its accounts, which unveils the multi-faceted office relationships motivating the company’s business. Office informatively explores the happenings at a business amid the 2008 global financial crisis, drenched in juicy and entertaining gossip learned through the all-seeing eyes of the interns.
The film truly has everything: tangled love affairs between the CEO (Sylvia Chang), chairman of the company (Chow-Yun Fat) and rule-bending gambler protégée David (Eason Chan), who is using the accountant’s affections to hide his lies at the expense of her dwindling relationship with her fiancé. Keeping up? Let’s throw into the mix the eager to succeed, and most morally stable of the lot, intern Lee Xiang (Wang Ziyi) and his fondness for fellow intern-cum-familial spy, Kat (Lang Yeuting). The narrative unfolds in a futuristic office space enhanced in its technological advancement by the use of 3D.
Fans of Johnnie To will recognise his lighthearted and heavily choreographed stylistic approach, however, this time perhaps he has attempted to do too much. A humorous plot of corporate social agenda, revenge, love and betrayal all to a musical beat? Taiwanese songwriter Lo Tayu and Hong Kong lyricist Lin Xi serve the purpose of the musical without inspiring any major praise, with the resulting songs delivered through badly dubbed vocals.
Office works around a fun and imaginative idea, highlighting how prolific office gossip can be; it entertains without affecting on any deeper level.
Office does not have a UK release date yet.
Watch the trailer for Office here: