Every few days I get another mysterious package in the mail from Net-Flix. It is not entirely mysterious, but due to my busy schedule I often don’t remember what I placed on my list of movies. Most of the movies I put on my list are ones that I count as guilty pleasures. These are the kind of movies that I want to watch, but don’t really want to admit it to myself. Last night my lovely wife and I watched Despicable me. Yea, I know… It’s a kids cartoon, so what.
I was kind of surprised at how much I enjoyed the movie. I was a bit apprehensive at first; I was worried that I wouldn’t like the minions. I assumed that they were more a marketing ploy for a new line of plushies. I was wrong; the minions were the best part of the movie. Sure Steve Carrell was good as Gru, and the little girls were cute, but it was the minions that stole the show.
Their good humor, dogged determination, and feckless disregard for decorum were not only charming but inspirational. Each minion was an individual, but automatically and enthusiastically worked as a team. They spoke some strange language that sounded more like a heavy accent. They seemed strangely familiar…
Then it dawned on me. My colleagues at work are just like these Minions. Just look at the similarities. Dark blue coveralls, gloves, safety shoes, safety glasses, strange accents, playful but efficient, it was down right creepy.
You would think that this would be a bad parable, but it is not. According to a web search a minion is follower devoted to serving his master relentlessly. But in computer terms Minion (solver), is a constraint solving program. In the movie the minions follow the first definition more accurately; however they eventually evolve into a rather odd team that volunteer to pitch in and fulfill their master’s dream, overcoming obstacles in creative ways. They start out as sad and disposable comic relief and eventually become colleagues united in the goal of bringing Gru out of his despicable nature. All the while you get the feeling that they genuinely enjoy their work.
I think that is the key. That is why I enjoyed the movie so much. In the movie Despicable Me, you first get the impression that these minions are goofy and clumsy, however, how can Gru’s marvelous inventions get built to such high performance standards with out some real technical savvy? There are some real skills in those little guys. You also get the feeling that Gru’s minions are not slaves to their master, but colleagues at a job they really enjoy. They are more like Steampunk Oompa-Loompas
In the end it is the minions that save the day, and they do with humor and style.
In my humble opinion all things should be done with humor and style.