The Method
(El Método)

najwa nimri

The Method (El Método)
Made in: Spain
Language: Spanish
Director: Marcelo Piñeyro
Starring: Eduardo Noriega, Najwa Nimri, Pablo Echarri, Eduard Férnandez, Ernesto Alterio, Natalia Verbeke, Carmelo Gómez, Adriana Ozores
Year: 2005

Synopsis: Eduardo Noriega and Najwa Nimri (who both starred in the acclaimed film Open your Eyes) lead an impressive cast in this drama that's guaranteed to make you hate your next job interview.

At Dekia, a multinational company in Madrid, seven applicants vie for an executive position and are called in for a group interview. The candidates, five men and two women, are all highly intelligent and qualified according to their diverse resumes.

Amassing the protagonists in a conference room, Dekia devises a number of tests designed to see how each candidate handles a series of questions or hypothetical situations. As they are psychologically evaluated via hidden camera, the company weeds out the applicants one by one.

To make things interesting, the company has planted one of its own among the candidates. And part of the interview is about the other six trying to find out who the "mole" is.

As the stakes get higher, personal ethics are put to the test and emotions begin running high. Just how badly do these people want the job? And how far are they willing to go? Is it every corporate bigshot for him/herself or is there any hope for basic human decency?

The Good: The Method is a very clever psychological drama about competition and the nastier side of human nature. Set against the backdrop of boisterous IMF and WTO protests, much of the commentary about the dark sides of capitalism is strong and thought-provoking.

But the best elements about The Method are its realistic characters, and how director Marcelo Piñeyro touches upon many of the more subtle but relevant issues in the shark-pool of modern corporate life. Subjects such as personal ethics, company loyalty, age, hidden prejudices, and of course, gender, are examined with boldness and intelligence.

Working mainly from the strength of the actors, Piñeyro creates a very interesting, and often chilling story that will have the viewers asking, "what would I do in that situation?"

The Bad: Of course it's just a movie, but Dekia's interview process is so unethical that I don't see how anyone would feel comfortable working for a company made up of supervisors and co-workers that you'll never be able to fully trust. Although many of the issues regarding corporate life are presented in a realistic way, the commentary on "evil capitalism" is a bit two-dimensional.

And one more thing...

The characters in this film are just too smart. These characters are presumably competing for a high level, supervisory position. Raise your hand if most of your supervisors, managers, and bosses are highly competent geniuses...

Yeah, that's what I thought. And that's another reason why The Method isn't entirely believable.

Who would like this movie: The Method is for you if you've ever experienced frustration with corporate life, and I'm guessing that includes just about everyone reading this review. You don't necessarily have to be a fan of foreign films to relate to this movie, since the characters and themes are pretty much universal. This is a clever, dark, and smart film that will motivate you to learn a foreign language...

(3 out of 4 stars)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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