TIFF 2015: Office

From Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To (Drug War, Mad Detective) comes the workplace musical Office. In the midst of a global financial crisis, CEO Miss Chang (Sylvia Chang) prepares the IPO for her billion dollar company, with Chairman Ho Chung-ping (Chow Yun-fat) promising a wealth of shares. Meanwhile, young upstart Lee Xiang (Wang Ziyi) tries to make a name for himself in the company, while building a relationship with Ho’s daughter Kat (Lang Yueting), who tries to keep her parentage secret from her co-workers.

Office is the adaptation of the 2008 play Design for Living, which was written by and starred Sylvia Chang, who is also the writer, producer, and star of this film. Office is a 3D musical featuring a large set, which utilizes bars instead of walls. Presumably this is to add depth to the 3D, even though the effect is only really noticeable in wide shots, if at all.

It does seem odd for Johnnie To, a filmmaker known primarily in North America for his action and crime films, to direct a 3D musical. Indeed, the film comes off as little more than a melodramatic soap opera, with the 3D effects being completely unnecessary. In addition, despite having a big name such as Chow Yun-fat in the cast, he is only on screen for a very small percentage of the film. While I did not believe that Office was a complete disappointment, it was not a film that I really enjoyed either.

 ★ ★ ★ |  WATCHABLE 

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).