Posted in ageing, depression, kindness, loving kindness, managing change, mental health, positive self talk, resilience, social behaviour, wellbeing, workplace conditions

David Brent

Why shouldn’t here be a song about Slough as there are songs about New York, Paris, Chicago? There are films about the Snowy River, Paris, Seattle. Why not Slough? Why don’t North American Indians call themselves pelican names when they are happy with Sitting Bull, Hawkeye, Lone Wolf? Why can’t people have mental legs as they do a mental head? Why do we think one person is weird and another one is okay? Why shouldn’t we have songs about anything we like? The French make songs about cucumbers, run away dogs, picnics, voyeurs, cigarettes. I didn’t know what I was going to get when I went to see David Brent. I just knew I liked Ricky Gervais and what he stood for. I know he is a complex thinker and can fight effectively for animal rights. I know I liked The Office .The film is set in and around Slough, Berkshire where Ricky Gervais was born. The humour is British and I had some really good laughs throughout the film. It’s a complex film, though, and not to be given a post modern reading. You listen to the song lyrics, you know the actor is being a character you know who is then reflecting on that character. The film questions how we define normality and how we define mental illness. It clearly examines how mental illness is not a disease, it’s not an illness as such, but a person with hopes, thoughts, dreams, relationships and more than anything, feelings. A person is not this bit or that bit but a collection of traits, experiences and thoughts and is a whole . It’s a Gestalt reading of human behaviour. We are not our fatness or thinness or our job or the clothes we put on. We are all sorts of things and some of those things are transient, some of them are determined as acceptable by the norms of society. He questions political correctness, body image, language usage, content of popular culture, work place expectations. It is a film which puts everything under a lens but not in an arduous way. It’s thought provoking and it makes you wonder. If you are familiar with people with mental illness there is a lot which you can relate to. You could even be asking yourself well, maybe it’s not right to call someone that when all they are is a square peg in a round hole. Who are we to put down and judge? Where did we get the parameters from to judge them? You don’t ask yourself that, though. You look at the film and realise people are people and they are all on the road of life trying to get somewhere and trying to do their best at getting there. I really enjoyed this film and I am glad I went to see it. It will be one of my favourite films. I need to think about it some more!

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Author:

Retired Adelaide based professional. Lived here most of my life. I have been a teacher of French, English and German since 1974 and value the capacity of the classroom, wherever that might be, to write on the lives of others.

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