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Review – David Brent: Life on the Road

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There is no doubt a buzz in the air about the long-awaited David Brent: Life on the Road, the feature length film conclusion of the hit TV series The Office, all masterminded by the comedic genius that is Ricky Gervais.

Anybody who was a fan of The Office not only took it for the slapstick face value, but unearthed the ongoing philosophical aspects of it such as Brent’s delusion and his (un)happiness, peer pressure within societal circles and the extent that people will stretch for love. Not bad for a paper company based in Slough. Furthermore, the mockumentary sitcom was supported by a stellar cast of main characters who were beginning their acting careers such as Gervais himself, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook and many more.

Fast forward to present day after years of Brent being told to leave his beloved Wernham Hogg, we jump back into his life as he’s requesting holiday at his mediocre sales job in order to embark on a tour with his haphazardly constructed band – Forgone Conclusion.

We’re used to peering into Brent’s world with him at the top of the food chain in the office, making unscrupulous demands of his employees and acting like a bit of a tit in the process. However, be clear that the modern day is far removed from The Office of old. Thankfully, Brent is still in Brentland in his head, but in this films perspective we seem to pity him an awful lot more. The majority of characters are mean to Brent, or they bully him which isn’t a pre-requisite of a gut-wrenchingly hilarious film, it taints it with an awkward sadness. No doubt this was intended, but it removes the gloss and shine which made the TV series remarkable.

Brent has paid all of his band members to play with him, re-investing his pension for the umpteenth time to finance a supposedly ground-breaking tour with a few dates in the vicinity of Reading, UK. None of the members are buying into his music or Brent and they don’t even allow him on the tour bus, which he’s paid for. What we are now exposed to is the sad and desperate Brent who does not have a grasp on how to manage genuine human relationships, even after all of these years.

Without dropping any spoilers, the film attempts to finish in a classic Office heartfelt, conscious manner but it’s disjointed. It doesn’t leave you with a satisfactory feeling, in what feels rushed and false.

The transition from series to the big screen for Brent has failed on this occasion, nevertheless it will still be a must-watch for anyone who was obsessed with the series.

2-out-of-5

David Brent: Life On The Road is out in the UK on 19th August 2016.

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