Workplace Movies that Champion the Workers

We all spend a lot of our lives at work. Not only does it take up most of our adult life (unless we happen to be trust beneficiaries or win the lotto) but it also takes up the majority of each week. People who hate their jobs daydream about a world in which the weekends and weekdays were reversed, or at the very least, we had a three-day weekend as a matter of course.

With work being such a prominent feature in our lives, it is perhaps unsurprising that the dynamics of working relationships appear so often in the movies. There are plenty of workplace or work-related movies that have been made over the years, but the ones the majority of employees enjoy the most is where the underdog gets the upper hand – where the tables are turned on demanding and unreasonable bosses.

The gaming site bgo has come up with a list of its top five film character heroes who ‘beat the boss’. What’s the work connection with bgo? Well, its brand ambassador is Verne Troyer, who plays the role of a character on the website called The Boss. He challenges players who come to the website to beat him through a series of different games. In the latest TV ad, poker player and Instagram star Dan Bilzerian arrives at the bgo casino to do just that and leaves The Boss fuming as he has had to pay out to Bilzerian at the end of a game of blackjack.

You’ll probably be familiar with the movies mentioned on bgo’s list. There’s Office Space, where an IT firm employee called Peter Gibbons hates his job, and his boss. He decides to get himself fired with more and more extreme behaviour, but it has the opposite effect to what he was hoping for and gets him a promotion. Then, there’s Bud Fox, in Wall Street, who is taken under the wing of Gordon Gecko but then used as a pawn by Gecko. It looks like there’s no way out for Buddy, until he decides to bring Gecko down, even though it’ll mean he also has to go to jail.

Everyone will be able to think of a few more movies and characters that should have made a list like this. One example would be the maids in The Help (2011) which portrayed the lives and relationships between black housemaids/nannies and the women they worked for in the 1960s. The showpiece moment of employee revenge in this movie would have to be the chocolate pie scene. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, we won’t spoil it for you.

Margin Call was a 2011 movie that captured the intensity of the workplace at a whole new level. The whole film covers a 24 hour period at the beginning of the financial crisis on Wall Street. The film starts with an HR consultancy coming in to lay off many of the employees on a trading floor, and it’s done in a brutal way. A manager is culled, but on his way out hands a young analyst a USB stick with information that he says he should take a look at. What unfolds is that the whole business is in jeopardy because of the mortgage-backed securities portfolio that the bank has. The movie is a perfect portrayal of the dog-eat-dog world of Wall Street and the most ruthless character of all, the CEO, is played by Jeremy Irons (pictured above). Just watching this movie is stressful – let alone working in a real environment like that.

If you’ve had a hard day at work, where you’ve been bullied by your boss, forget all your troubles with a workplace movie where the lowly employee triumphs in the end. It may not be your work reality, but it’ll cheer you up anyway!

top image via alatelefr

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