{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Boss Of It All

Most of the problems in the world arise due to the fact that everyone likes to be loved even if they are more or less horrible people, and everyone has his unique definition what it means to be loved. If we translate this to a corporate guy, his definition of being loved may well be the straightest one. He wants to be loved and held in high esteem and integrity even if he has to pose what he is not, which comes very close to the definition of being loved by a normal person too, just that a corporate person is bound to a corporation, and in a way detached to what he does. The basic problem that all of these smiling, smart and sophisticated corporate people face is to manage and rule and at the same get the love of their subject, make them feel cared when they are being used. We have faced and we have used the big management D, the deference, which in this case means the deference of the responsibility of anything bad to someone else. The only glitch in that is, eventually it goes to a physical person, and that person may not get the love, may not be in the pool of the loved ones, and in that case will be unhappy corporate boss, which is not at all an admirable situation. There is heaps of self-help for both the loved ones and the lovers in the corporate world, but eventually the loss of innocence of the lovers happen and they all get the bitter truth about the loved ones (as you can see we are here taking a sort of ideal situation, the sycophant-gene is altogether neglected, but that can be neglected as its always good for the boss, which is our main concern here). There should be a better solution; there should be a better and easy world for our bosses. The Boss of it all gives that fine solution.

The owner of a Danish IT firm, Ravn, has that terrific idea. He hires a failed actor Kristoffer to pose as a made-up "boss of it all", and makes him responsible for making all the sensitive decision of the company and finally the decision of selling the company to an anti-Dane Icelaner and firing all of the six company's founding members except Ravn. But this foolproof plan has a small but basic problem, the problem that hired actor also wants to be loved. For an actor, the act of getting love is to please by his performance, to get the attention, for a director, it is a approval that someone got jolt and kick by seeing his stuff, which makes him feel something, something similar to being loved. What can be more dangerous than an artist who wants to be loved?

Like other films by Lars von Trier, this film is also an irony, and he spares none (von Trier believes that a film should be like a stone in your shoe :)), just that this time the mood is lighter, the camera is more playful, there is more air to breathe. This breezy irony, plays with the intentions of viewers, as if director is improvising against it, and a comic voice over always keeps things in a light mood and its director's simple way to say that its just a film, and that too a comedy, a irrational one. Film in its goofy irrationality and absurd setting, also examines the relation between the actors, directors, camera and the related ethics. Like the philosophical fool of Dogville, the actor in this film is also director’s doppelganger in particular, and artists and intellectuals in general. As a good satire is only on oneself (otherwise its bitching or criticism, and that is why Altman's The Player is an excellent satire), a good comedy becomes true only if the better jokes are reserved for oneself. Film’s end in which an actor shows what he is good at, is a potent joke on the creative urge and the related admiration that might follow from the performance, because whether it is a corporate cow or a creative crow, its all about being loved.

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