Office (华丽上班族) Movie Review

Office (华丽上班族) Movie Review | by

Recommended Audience: Fans of Chow Yun Fat 周润发
, Tang Wei 汤唯, Sylvia Chang 张艾嘉, Eason Chan 陈奕迅, Wang Ziyi 王紫逸, 郎月婷 Lang Yue Ting and musical/comedy/drama movie fans

 Office 2015 Poster

Office (华丽上班族) Movie Synopsis:

Billion-dollar company Jones & Sunn is going public. Chairman Ho Chung-ping (Chow Yun Fat) has promised CEO Chang(Sylvia Chang), who has been his mistress for more than twenty years, to become a major shareholder of the company. As the IPO team enters the company to audit its accounts, a series of inside stories start to be revealed.
华丽上班族 Chow Yun Fat_Sylvia ChangLee Xiang(Wang Ziyi), a new hire at Jones & Sunn, brings with him youthful ideals and dreams. Within the neoliberal market, the logic of intrigue rules, complicated by entanglements of love-hate relationships, which weaves a power play and a pathos-laden tragedy inside the office.

Office (华丽上班族) Viewer Rating: 3/5 ****

Office (华丽上班族) Movie Review:

If you haven’t watch this movie prior to reading this review, I think I should alert you in advance that this movie is a musical + stage production + film altogether. I was pretty alarmed when the actors burst into ballads and it took me sometime before I get accustomed to watching this unique concept and appreciate the concept. Hua Li Shang Ban ZuMost reviews focused on the famous casts, but I thought I will start off with these two supposedly-lead-but-rarely-mentioned-due-to-the-big-cast characters Lee Xiang (Wang Ziyi) and Kat Ho (Lang Yueting). The movie started from the moment they step into the corporate world of the big company which was about to be listed. The duo make an interesting contrast, the enthusiastic Lee Xiang who is able to learn the names and drink preference of all the heads immediately, and the half-hearted Kat who make blunders like every newbie but has to keep her identity of being the chairman’s (Chow Yun-Fat) daughter a secret.

Office StillsI was intrigued by the use of stairs, clocks and lifts to represent the way human tries to climb the corporate ladder, rushes against time to achieve their aim, as well as how the top managements and CEO have a direct and quick lift to the top office. Ain’t that what most white collars are doing now? The almost robotic and routined life, the office gossips, politics and relationships. The plot is a perfect reflection of the office world.Slyvia ChangIn this enclosed world, everything is separated by poles and glasses. Characters walk from one location to another just like that of a stage production. There will be moments where you will be wondering, wait, is that a real flat or some hostel? And these thoughts would be interrupted by a realistic, huge thunderstorm. I guess people from the IT, finance, advertising or entertainment industry will be able to relate to the setup, wherever you go, time’s ticking, your mind is never really off-work. While I like the chemistry and cohesiveness of the office workers when they do musical murmurs, it is still the one-to-one interaction between the characters that I love most. Amongst the many, the veteran versus rookie lift interaction was my favourite.

Chow Yun Fat Sylvia ChangI was amazed by the it’s-complicated relationship status between and within Chairman Mr Ho (Chow Yun-Fat), his comatose-wife, CEO Ms. Chang (Sylvia Chang), David Wong (Eason Chan) and Sophie (Tang Wei). How did the director managed to make this complicated relationship so clear cut and uncomplicated. The most intriguing part about the film was how the characters act and behave when there’s tension in relationships, complications at work and trouble with the economy. Eason Chen Tang weiThe music wasn’t my favourite part of the film, perhaps because there wasn’t really anyone who are good in singing except for Eason Chan. He was able to make a simple song come to life and coupled with his acting skills, he might not be the best person in the story but he’s definitely one of the best actor/ singer in the film. While Tang Wei tried her best with her classic finger-biting nervous look (similar to her role in Golden Era), I had to say they two make an odd but interesting match!

Hua Li Shang Ban Zu Office Tian XinPerhaps I love my High School Musicals too much, I was not exactly impressed with the dance steps (nor the singing) here. There were several parts where the whole scene are filled with people and had to pause for the singer to sing his/her lines, there will be that one background actor who was slower by half a beat, spoiling the whole picture. However, this being a rendition of Sylvia Chang’s stage production, I will still recommend those who enjoy a drama performance to catch it. After-all, I don’t think it’s every day you get to watch a stage play under $10. 😛

Do You Know?

Design For Living“Office” is based on Sylvia Chang’s popular stage musical, “Design for Living,” which shares its title with the 1933 Noël Coward play

Hua Li Shang Ban ZuAs the entire filming process were done in a set- including roads, convenience stalls, pubs, houses and offices, the team spent 400 Million Yuan to create this majestic yet cold glass and metal cityscape. All-About-Ah-LangSylvia Chang, Chow Yun Fat and Johnnie To last worked together on the drama All About Ah-Long (阿郎的故事) in 1989, a film that helped convince many of To’s talents as a serious filmmaker.

Johnnie To Eason ChenThis film sets a milestone for Director Johnnie To as it’s the first time he directed a musical.

Behind The Scenes and Interviews

Check out Office (华丽上班族)Official Weibo.
Office (华丽上班族) is out in cinemas on 24th September 2015.

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*Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for the movie review.

19 thoughts on “Office (华丽上班族) Movie Review”

  1. That was what I was going to say too. Other people who loves High School Musical might expect much from the movie because you mentioned it to be a musical kind of film. Anyway, it would be something new to watch because the usual Asian movies are either drama, action, rom-com. It would be so refreshing to see a musical Asian movie that portrays what happens in the office world.

  2. I think the singing and dancing parts may not be the best with this movie so it’s okay not to set high expectations. However, I bet the movie is still worth the time to watch because it’s interesting and entertaining.

  3. Whoa, that’s really quite an adventure. 🙂 I would also like to have that experience of riding a helicopter one day with someone special.

  4. Chow Yun Fat sings in this? He looks quite trimmer now than how I remember him. Great you posted that old photo of Chow and Sylvia from an old film of theirs. Curious to see this one since I like musicals. – Fred

  5. Cut throat business, the corporate world. Not one I’m planning to venture into haha. The movie reeks of duplicity and a lot of underhanded scheming to get ahead. I’m a fan if Chow Yun Fat, but not the story of this film.

  6. I have seen several movies which starred Cho Yun Fat. He acts well especially in an action movie. I am looking forward to watch this movie on how my fave actor is playing his role.

  7. Lol. I could not imagine that a modern setting could have musical scenes because most of the movies that are musical has ancient settings, right? Also, the movie is about corporation so I guess it’s not so appropriate?? Anyway, I haven’t watched it yet so that’s just an initial verdict. 🙂

  8. Sounds theatrical, but it’s a shame if only of the actors had a knack at singing. I am dying to see the dancing part though. I’m curious. Lol. Prod looks okay though, seems like they spent for it.

  9. It’s a bit sad that it only got three stars despite the lineup of actors. It’s still quite interesting though! 😀

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