Monday, August 22, 2016
David Brent: Prozac
As a writer of all things pharmaceutical it was good to see Ricky Gervais include the side effects of the antidepressant Prozac in his latest movie, David Brent: Life on the Road.
It was a subtle line but one I picked up on (given the nature of the work I do) - Brent, Ricky Gervais' comic creation, took Prozac and became addicted to it, it also made him gain weight. Fantastic to see Gervais highlight this, even if it was lost amongst his many other one-liners that were, at times, cringe worthy.
There's even a scene where Brent pays a visit to his therapist, being oh-so careful with what he says to her (probably because he doesn't want to be labelled and drugged again)
David Brent has moved on from Wernham Hogg, he's no longer boss, although he does claim to be his own boss - he's still totally un-PC, he's still unaware that he's totally un-PC.
We see the introduction into his life-long ambition - hitting the road with a makeshift band, Forgone Conclusion - all in it for the money with the exception of wannabe rapper Dom Johnson, played brilliantly by Doc Brown - He's black by the way, something that Brent explains when introducing him to his manager back at the office, where incidentally he has his own parking space (I won't spoil the subtle panning of the camera that reveals the parking space names)
I sat in darkness watching the 96 minute movie. There was times when I felt guilty for laughing at the handicapped and racist lines but they are what made Brent, Brent. He's awkward to have around because you just don't know what he's going to say next or, more importantly, who he is going to offend next.
He's a lovable dreamer who, unlike too many people, actually chases his dreams - for that you have to stand up and salute him.
David Brent is a fictional character yet we all know someone like him - It's the delivery of Gervais that makes Brent such an appealing character - or rather the pauses and facial expressions. Comedy, at times, is best delivered with those moments of silence, something Gervais has mastered the art of.
Brent is a tragic character yet he is someone that we can't live without - he reminds us of how we all, deep down, want to be loved and how we, at times, miss what's going on around us in search of our dreams.
The songs played by Forgone Conclusion, with Brent on lead vocals, are hideously embarrassing, they would be, given that Brent penned the lyrics. If there were a cushion in the cinema I would have put it in front of my face for the song, or rather the lyrics, he chose to perform about the "handicapped" - The introduction of which was uncomfortable, given that there was a guy in a wheelchair in the sparse audience.
David Brent is still wanting to be loved - he's still a chilled out entertainer.
He's still annoyingly funny and for 96 minutes he made me forget about the real world that I find myself submersed in on a daily basis.
I'd have a beer with him any day of the week. (And I wouldn't need paying)
Catch David Brent: Life on the Road when you can ~ Keep repeating, "It's only a movie, it's only a movie..."
About the Author :
Bob Fiddaman has been writing about the dangers of antidepressants since 2006. In 2011 he was presented with two human rights awards from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.