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El método (2005)
Perfect psychologically intense examination of the job application process
This is one of the best films I've seen all year! If you've ever been to a job interview with multiple applicants or even to one of those assessment centres big companies have you will recognize a lot of things in this movie.
"The Method" starts off with an engaging split-screen title sequence reminiscent of the TV series 24 which introduces the characters and the events around them: The story takes place on the day of the annual IMF & World Bank meetings and a huge anti-globalization protest is mounting that is threatening to shut down the city. This however belies what will follow in the next two hours.
Seven applicants for an executive position at a large company are more or less locked up inside a room and put through a novel mysterious selection process called "The Grönholm Method" which is supposed to determine the one applicant who is most fit for the job. The limited setting of the movie works perfectly and allows the audience to concentrate on and engage with the characters and the clever dialogue. Adapted from a theatre play the script takes the characters through little insidious games aimed at eliminating one applicant after the other. The movie quickly gets into a state of heightened reality, amping up the tension as everything gets more and more psychologically violent. Without giving anything away all I can say is that there's no backing down, it gets pretty hardcore and you can expect quite a few twists! After a particularly intense round in The Grönholm Method the audience is suddenly assaulted by the sound of the violent riots going on in the streets below while the camera remains focused on the actors. This moment is pure Haneke and through the contrast of non-diegetic sound perfectly illustrates the violence behind the ruthless shoot-first-or-be-shot modern day job world.
Watching this movie carefully while giving it your full attention pays off since the plot twists are carefully build up and you can have a lot of fun and gratification in correctly predicting them. Also, if you're a cynical bastard like me, you will find a lot of laughs in the dialogue.