Original Title: El Método
Director: Marcelo Piñeyro
25.12.2019: This review was first published on 27.04.2018 and is being updated for a more complete review, together with the publishing of the YouTube Version.
Hello, Welcome to Ulven Reviews!
The Method or El Método is a Spanish movie from 2005, directed by Marcelo Piñeyro. Inspired by a Catalan play, in which a group of individuals goes through a very particular technique of recruitment.
World Cup Historic
Established in 1904, the Spanish team has an extensive history in the FIFA World Cup, with 15 participations, hosting the Cup in 1982 and winning it in 2010, the World Cup remembered for the Vuvuzelas.
Even after an awful performance in 2014, including a 5-1 defeat against the Netherlands, elimination after the group stage, and an underwhelming Euro 2016, many commentators still considered Spain as one of the top contenders for the 2018 World Cup.
Well, they were wrong like I was about Egypt. The Spanish team did one decent game, the 3-3 opening against Portugal, but that was it. In the round of 16, they were eliminated on penalties by Russia.
The best thing Spain left us in Russia was the beautiful goal Nacho scored against Portugal. I would love to show it here, but FIFA would block my entire video because of the 10 seconds footage of the goal.
Even though the director Marcelo Piñeyro is Argentinian, I chose it for the Spanish spot, because it’s set in Madrid, most the cast is of Spanish and, it’s a mostly Spanish production.
This film is an adaptation of the play El Mètode Grönholm, by the Catalan playwright Jordi Galceran. I confess I tried reading it, but my Catalan is a little rusty, I could probably find it in English or Spanish, but I’ll leave it for another day.
The play is from 2003 and the film from 2005, but to better understand the movie, we need to get back a little further than that, Seattle, 1999, to be exact.
If we start to pull the thread, we could get back even further, to the movements that inspired what happened in Seattle in late 1999, but Seattle is a good beginning for us now. Around 40 thousand protesters went to the streets while the World Trade Organization was holding a conference in the city.
This anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movent soon spread to Washington during the International Monetary Funds and World Bank annual meeting in April 2000. Later that same year was Prague’s turn when more than 10 thousand protesters marched the streets during the IMF and World Bank summit.
This anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movement is not the same as the far-right extremists against globalism. Globalism, as used by the far-right, is just a non-sensical conspiracy theory.
In the film, the anti-capitalist sentiment arrived in Spain, so the streets of Madrid are beginning a surge similar to those I just mentioned.
Seven executives are attending a job interview with a big corporation in Madrid. Meanwhile, the streets have increasing chaos with the escalation of the anti-capitalist protest inspired by other cities around the world.
The seven executives are Carlos (played by Eduardo Noriega), Nieves (played by Najwa Nimri), Fernando (played by Eduard Fernández), Ricardo (played by Pablo Echarri), Enrique (played by Ernesto Alterio), Ana (played by Adriana Ozores) and Julio (played by Carmelo Gómez). By the way, it’s not the last time we’ll talk about Carmelo Goméz in the channel.
The only other actress in the whole movie is Natalia Verbeke, who plays the secretary Montse, welcoming the participants, serving snacks, and having a role in many of the recruitment activities.
Soon the job interview reveals to be an unorthodox recruitment method, consisting of a series of supposedly psychological tests. Each one of the tests eliminates one of the candidates, until only one remain.
The first time I watched The Method was to write an essay in college and the second time, right before writing the review I published on 27 of April 2018.
I dramatically changed my view of the movie from the first to the second time I watched it. Maybe the first time I watched, I was focused on a recruitment perspective since I needed to write an essay for an industrial-organizational psychology class.
I used to save everything I had from college, from essays to auxiliary texts and even the teachers’ presentation slides when available, but somehow, this essay slipped me. If I still had it, I would love to compare my previous opinion to my current one.
Now, I realized every character is an awful human being. They’re not bad as characters, the characters are just despicable and immoral corporate tools that don’t give a fuck about other human beings.
While these disgusting executives go on about their corporative lives, the protesters are filling the streets, but their noise doesn’t reach the isolated room where the executives battle for their a job.
This shows how the corporative environment doesn’t care about societal problems unless the problem affects them. The morals are different in the corporations, the rules within the organization are different.
Set almost entirely in the meeting room where the process of recruitment is taking place was great to have a good view of every character, and the notion of space this setting gives helped intensify the characters’ interactions.
In this limited space, the interactions and plot are what make the film work. Without giving spoilers, the dynamic between three specific characters is what gives something for us to cling to.
These three characters dynamic is what makes the plot more interesting, something personal, so it’s not all just a sick game where the winner gets a high-paid job as a prize.
I think The Method is a good and original movie criticizing the corporative environment, with everyone in the cast giving great performances in the limited space they have, all bound together by the director’s ability.
However, the most important emotional moments of the film had little impact on me, because I hadn’t sympathy for any of the disgusting corporative tools or faceless protesters. Calculating the positive and negative, 8 Moons.