Release Date: July 6th, 2007 (Cinema Village) by Palm Pictures.
The Cast: Eduardo Noriega, Najwa Nimri, Eduard Fernández, Pablo Echarri, Ernesto Alterio, Natalia Verbeke, Adriana Ozores, Carmelo Gómez.
Directed by Marcelo Piñeyro.
In Spanish with subtitles.
BASIC PREMISE: Seven job applicants apply for the same position at a mysterious corporation, where they collectively go through a series of tests to determine which applicant will be hired. Based on the play by Jordi Galcerán.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Set in mainly one location at a boardroom, The Method has a smart script with a suspenseful plot, although its interesting characters could have used a bit more development. Carlos (Noriega), Nieves (Nimri), Fernando (Fernández), Ricardo (Echarri), Enrique (Alterio), Ana (Ozores) and Julio (Gómez) arrive at a corporation while thinking that they will go through the typical one-on-one job interviews to get their position. Little do they know that all of them will go through a set of tests called The Gronholm Method, which requires that they sit in a boardroom in front of computers and interact based on computer instructions. An often smiling secretary, Monste (Verbeke), helps to escort any of the applicants who lose the test and to give them lunch. The first computer message states that one of the applicants is a mole, which leads to a suspenseful scene where they all briefly introduce themselves to figure out who might be lying. They all take a vote as to who seems like a mole, but it really could be anyone. Further tests weed out an applicant in other interesting ways. As much as this sounds like the reality-TV shows “The Apprentice” and “Survivor”, it actually works better because co-writer/director Marcelo Piñeyro doesn’t have any of the characters actually define The Gronholm Method, so it allows for some unpredictability and mystery to unfold. Also, he assembles a fine cast with interesting characters, although not all of them are developed enough so that you can truly care about them as human beings. At least you’re able to root for one of them to win, though. Two of the applicants happen to have once dated. The only scenes that drag are during the breaks in between the tests. When they’re back at the computers and interacting during The Gronholm Method, The Method crackles with intrigue and suspense until the very end.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It’s quite thought-provoking to figure out who has a hidden agenda among the seven applicants, especially when each one seems like he or she can reasonably be a mole. Or, as one applicant puts it, perhaps none of them are moles and the corporation is merely trying to deceiving them. Meanwhile, there’s a brief mention of anti-globalization, such as a crowd of anti-globalization who can be heard protesting down below on the street level.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Occasionally drags.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
IN A NUTSHELL: Intense, suspenseful and smart, but occasionally drags.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater
The "M" Menu