David Brent is back 12 years after the last episode of the BBC mockumentary The Office aired, with David Brent: Life on the Road. Considered as a spin-off of The Office, the trailer is giving pleasure to avid fans of David Brent.
The movie brimming with inadvertent racist, sexist and the n-word one-liners, so typical of David Brent, would be an hour and a half of sheer joy for those who would like to see a movie made out of David Brent.
David Brent (Ricky Gervais), manager of Wernham Hogg in the town of Slough, has left Wernham Hogg and has been working as a sales representative for Lavichem. His new job is to sell hygiene products including tampons for vending machines, and his jargon is “One size fits all … No … it doesn’t actually”. His job takes him to the bedroom suburbs of south England, where Brent, to sell his ware, deploys toilet jokes and one-liners with sexual undertones.
The film follows a 55-year-old Brent, who has recuperated from depression, which led him to take the antidepressant Prozac and consequently gain weight, due to which he earned the nickname “Brentosaurus.” Brent says that Alexander O’Neal appears in his dreams one night to tell him that he has got what it takes.
From this message Brent takes a cue, takes unpaid leave, exhausts all his savings and sets out on a tour with his band Forgone Conclusions along the towns Sidcup, Ipswich, and Gloucester on the M25. According to Brent, he left Wernham Hogg and found himself again.
Brent tries to romanticize traveling rock bands and resurrect the musician in him. He plunders all his life savings to hire a traveling manager (Tom Basden) and a group of musicians including his nephew, Stu (Stuart Wilkinson) on guitar. Rapper Dom Johnson (Doc Brown) also joins the entourage to up the bands ‘yoof’ appeal.
Brent describes his music as “New romantic, but modern. A bit Bublé, a bit David Essex”. The songs performed by the band in the film include Equality Street, Lady Gypsy, and Native American. The tunes are nice, but the lyrics of the songs are politically incorrect, appalling to the listeners but appealing to those who understand Brent.
The song Equality Street was earlier performed for the Comic Relief. There is a somber expression on Brent’s face while singing “Oooh Native American, fly like an eagle, sit like a pelican,” which is priceless. Through his music Brent tries to arouse compassion for the “black people”, indigenous people, the gay and the disabled (“Help the awkward through the door”) in the song “Please Don’t Make Fun Of The Disabled”.
Brent also does not forget to eulogize his hometown Slough, where he once worked as the general manager of Wernham-Hogg. He describes Slough as the “greatest place in the world”. He continues to sing “Slough, my kinda town/ I don’t know how anyone could put you down.”
The film is bagging mixed reviews. While some critics hold that his embarrassing, politically incorrect one-liners and middle age rock-and-roll are excruciatingly hilarious, some critics are of other opinions.
It has been described as “hilarious, horrifying, heartbreaking, unmissable and unwatchable at the same time” and also as “appallingly funny”.
The Times called the movie “relentless and unforgiving comedy squirm at its most sublime,” while The Daily Telegraph gave it four stars and said the film was toe-twistingly funny. Life on the Road has also been termed as the funniest mockumentary since Borat ten years ago.