The Revolt of the Suit
25 Jul 2022
Gringo-Bogdan Grigorov, Stanislav Peev, Polina Nedkova,
Stumbling but well-meaning office comedy demonstrates the "superpower" of the casual Friday.
Some heroes wear capes, some wear masks, but in the case of Kristina Hristova’s quotidian office comedy about profoundly unmotivated accountant Deyan (played by the under-utilised Gringo-Bogdan Grigorov), who stumbles upon the power of confidence through unbuttoning his shirt collar, he wears a suit with battered trainers.
Think Peter Parker if he refrained from leaving the office and vowed to fight the corporate malaise instead. This superhero’s mortal enemy, however, does not take the form of the Green Goblin or Dr Octopus, but one far more familiar: an iniquitous boss, known as Mr Tsirkov, intent on whipping staff into submission with “team building” exercises and forced overtime.
And while the plot is ostensibly concerned with the discovery of Deyan’s superpower, much of the film’s 10-minute running time is stolen by the partially unseen and perpetually furious Tsirkov – well played by Stanislav Peev - who berates his “dearest employees” for absconding from work to celebrate their birthdays.
Here, Peev recalls a political commissar rather than a “boss,” spouting corporate piffle about a great shared “vision” and browbeating staff for making minor mistakes. It’s almost as if the film began life as a social realist indictment of fascistic practices within the 21st century workplace, but became a light office comedy instead.
Perhaps most perplexing is what Deyan’s power actually entails. Yes, his confidence is somehow heightened by the absence of a button, but how is this confidence illustrated? Other than taking the rap for co-worker Stella’s mistakes after she misfiles a document, the decorous accountant does little to indicate a newfound spring in his step. Also at play here is risible editing: there is a sequence where Grigorov’s impossibly chiselled torso is superimposed over his shirt, which contributes nothing but eye candy for a spectating crew.
There was plenty of room here to explore the misery of the office environment as a symptom of a wider corporate hegemony – à la Mike Judge’s Office Space – but this is side-lined for platitudinous quips about the “powers” of casual Friday’s.