The streets of Madrid are awash with protesters demonstrating against globalization and a G8 meeting. That's the backdrop against which a group of seven ambitious corporate types arrive at a (fictional) Spanish company, all with the goal of landing a plum job. They will be whittled down to one by the "Grönholm Method," a reportedly controversial technique that relies on group dynamics and other tests to determine the best qualified candidate. That's the premise of Jordi Galcerán Ferrer's successful stage play EL MÉTODO which has been adapted for the screen by both screenwriter Mateo Gil and director Marcelo Piñeyro.
Several years ago, Piñeyro made the heist film BURNT MONEY (Plata quemada) which featured Eduardo Noriega and Pablo Echarri. Those actors are reunited with the director in THE METHOD. Noriega stars as Carlos, one of the seven finalists for the position at the Dekia Corporation. When he arrives for the group interview, which is overseen by Montse (Natalia Verbeke), Carlos discovers that one of the other candidates is Nieves (Najwa Nimri who co-stared with Noriega in ABRE LOS OJOS), with whom he once shared a one-night stand. While there are hints of residual feelings (despite the passage of some three years), the duo are aware that they are in competition.
The candidates' day begin with the completion of forms that suspiciously resemble ones they have already filled out. Then the real fun begins as one by one, those deemed unworthy are picked off and dismissed. While the film is basically confined to one set, a large conference room and its surroundings, the filmmakers have managed to keep the action moving and obfuscate its theatrical origins. The cast all do a fine job, with Echarri, Noriega and Nimri emerging as the most memorable.
Undoubtedly some enterprising American film company will either undertake a remake or will pitch it as a new reality show (it's Survivor meets The Apprentice!). But why wait for the knock-off when you can see the very fine original.
Rating: B Running time: 115 mins.
Viewed on DVD
as Nieves, Eduardo Noriega as Carlos, Pablo Echarri as Fernando and Ernesto Alterio as Enrique in THE METHOD (El Método)