The Method (2005) - Plot Summary Poster



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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.

  • On a troubled day in Madrid, with strike and protest against the World Bank and the IMF on the streets, seven candidates are put together in a meeting room in front of notebooks by a secretary as part of a selection process for one important position in a Spanish corporation. They fulfill another application form informing that they would be submitted to the Grönholm Test. While speculating about the possible existence of hidden cameras and microphones, the test begins and they read a message on the screen telling that one of them is not a candidate but an employee from the HR analyzing their attitudes. Along the day, the group is submitted to tests that eliminate each candidate until the final dispute between the two last ones.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • In Madrid seven candidates report for a job interview as protestors rise up in public protest in the street over the IMF-World Bank Summit attempting globalization of workers unions. As the group interview begins high above in a corporate meeting room, one of the candidates refuses to continue to fill out seemingly identical paperwork again, and many of the others question the validity of the supposed Grönholm Method being implemented in the interview session to choose the best person for the job. There are some computers which show different messages to each of the characters, and when they are eliminated from the competition, the corresponding computer gives out a "no signal" sign.

    First, the group must decide who the traitor is. One of them already works for the corporation and they must find out who that person is. Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and Nieves (Najwa Nimri) already know each other because they used to be lovers, so they can vouch for each other's past behaviour. The group finally votes for Enrique (Ernesto Alterio), but the computer does not say whether they are right.

    Then, they must choose a leader, and choose Julio (Carmelo Gómez). A newspaper cutout appears about him. He denounced that his company was leaking noixous chemicals to a river. Now, the group must imagine they already work for the company and decide whether they give Julio a second opportunity. Ana (Adriana Ozores) gives the deciding vote to expel Julio.

    The next thing is to imagine that after a nuclear holocaust they have to fight for their survival being accepted in a bunker. Nieves offers to bear children to all the men, and Carlos offers himself to tell tales. In spite of offering herself to be the cook, Ana is expelled because she was a woman and too old, so that none of the men would like to have sexual relations with her (at least that is my interpretation). On the other hand, she is treated harshly as she had treated Julio before.

    Then they make a break. The receptionist Montse (Natalia Verbeke) brings some refreshments, and she talks to them about the mayhem outside, as there is a violent demonstration against the IMF. At that moment, Ricardo (Pablo Echarri) tells Enrique that there was a moment, back in Argentina, when he worked as a union leader, and that he's worried that the company will find out. Montse overhears something, and she puts some pressure on Enrique: if he knows something which the company does not know about Ricardo which they should know, he must betray the secrecy. Enrique finally breaks down and Ricardo leaves... just to return a few minutes later and admit that he's the psychologist who already works for the company. He asks Enrique if he now thinks he has done well in betraying him, and Enrique finally admits - under a lot of pressure - that he doesn't know. Ricardo asks him to leave until he realises that he's done absolutely the right thing in betraying the secret.

    During this break there is a weird exchange of shirts among Fernando, Carlos and Nieves. Fernando throws some coffee into Carlos' shirt, and he goes to the washbasin to wash it, but it disappears while he's on the toilet. Fernando tries to seduce Nieves, but she uses sex that to manipulate him, leaving him frustrated. Carlos steals Fernando's shirt and Fernando has to make do as well.

    Ricardo proposes a ball game. They have to imagine that Carlos is an Englishman, Nieves a Frenchwoman and Fernando a Spaniard male. As they throw the ball to each other, they have to say something in which the country they are impersonating is the best one. They begin with footballers, traditions, and then they move onto working methods, financial strategies, etc... The game gets more and more serious as Nieves starts speaking in French and Carlos in English. They insult Fernando and call him names so that he gets more and more stressed because he can't understand anything but he smells that something is going on. When Nieves translates that Carlos had called him a "wanker", Fernando hits her with the ball in the face, which eliminates him.

    Only Nieves and Carlos remain. There is another break. Ricardo tells Carlos that he must convince Nieves to quit and that the job will be his. Montse talks to Nieves saying that the company prefers Carlos, but that she'll get the job if she is able to trick him into leaving the building.

    So during the break Carlos and Nieves start flirting wildly. They wonder why their relationship didn't work out the first time, but it looks like they have hope for it to be successful this time. They decide to quit the job selection process together.

    While they are leaving, Nieves returns to the meeting room in order to get her coat, and she hesitates a little: if she closes the door, the job will be her. However, she decides to give love a chance and to leave with Carlos. While they are both going down in the lift, Nieves realises that Carlos has been had the same objective marked. Carlos also hesitates: should he leave the building with her or should he go up again to claim his new job as winner? Finally, he presses the button and returns to the meeting room. He's won the job as he's done everything necessary to get it.

    When Nieves leaves the building, the surrounding streets look like a demilitarized area after the FMI demonstrations, leaving her empty.

    She walks home.

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