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During IMF & World Bank Summit and demonstrations which upset Madrid, like other capitals, major corporation Dekia holds interviews to recruit a top executive from seven applicants. Their doubts start when they have to sign a clause accepting the Grönholm method, which nobody ever heard of. It soon becomes clear the tests are dirty mind games, but never what is true and what the trick. They must guess who among them is the HR mole, and repeatedly eliminate one of their number from the procedure. Their priorities, ethics and loyalty are put trough stressing tests. Written by
In the tradition of "No Exit" and "Twelve Angry Men," "The Method" gathers a small group of people into a single room to observe what happens when they are forced to spend an inordinate amount of time together, essentially cut off from the outside world. (The movie throws in elements from such wide-ranging and eclectic sources as "And Then There Were None," "1984," "To Tell the Truth" and "Survivor" as well).
Seven high-powered job applicants, all vying for a single position in a prestigious company, arrive at a high rise office building in downtown Madrid. As a part of the selection process, the seven are immediately put into a room and subjected to a battery of bizarre psychological tests designed to pit the applicants against one another until only one of them - the default "winner" and future employee - is left.
Predictably, the stress of the ordeal brings out the worst in the applicants, leading to personal betrayals, the exposing of secrets, and a cutthroat jockeying for power. Part of the fun of the movie is in seeing just how long it takes for the veneer of civilized behavior to be stripped away, exposing the ruthless animalistic nature within. For this is how the natural law of "survival of the fittest" is played out in the modern world - no longer with clubs, bows and arrows, but with duplicity, deviousness and carefully chosen words.
However, the individuals are not the only ones to come under the scathing censure of the filmmakers. The movie also attacks the Big Brother aspects of corporations in their insistence on total allegiance to the company in exchange for "job security" and their willingness to drain their employees of their humanity to secure that allegiance. Yet just outside this bleak, stark and sterile office building, where "civilized" people are subtlety tearing each other apart for corporate advancement, masses of people are marching in protest against the World Bank and the IMF who are holding a conference in the city.
Mateo Gil and Marcelo Pineyro have written a sharp, thoughtful screenplay that gets to the heart of the human condition, while, as a director, Pineyro manages to keep the action fluid despite the single-set restriction of the conceit (the film has been derived from the play by Jordi Calceran). The acting is uniformly excellent with each performer given his or her moment to shine as well as the chance to be an indispensable part of an extraordinary acting ensemble.
"The Method" may be derivative of other works at times, but the view of human nature it reveals to us is often unnerving and chilling in its honesty and precision.
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