STUDIO: Palm Pictures
115 Minutes
• Making of Featurette
• 5.1 Surround Sound
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer

The Pitch

"It’s like The Apprentice with no delusions of approximating reality."

The Humans

Eduardo Noriega, Najwa Nimri, Eduard Fernandez, Pablo Echarri, Adriana Ozores, Ernesto Alterio

The Nutshell

Six candidates vie for a position in the corporate machinery of the Dekia corporation. They’re all invited to the company for one last interview where the ultimate employee will be chosen. Little do they know they’ve signed off on being tested under ‘The Grunholm Method’, a rigorous psychological process in which the employers allow the potentials to eliminate one another one by one. Twists and turns await those who make it to the end of the brutal day.

Godzilla-hour traffic was sparse as usual.

The Lowdown

While the DVD cover for this film puts it in a pretty prestigious class by suggesting it’s a Frankenstein’s monster of the best parts of 12 Angry Men, In the Company of Men and Men at Work (kidding, Glengarry Glen Ross); I think a more apt description of the film could be Ten Little Indians meets The Office; there is a psychologically intense aspect to this picture that could likened to those aforementioned works, but there’s a lightness in tone (it’s a darkly funny movie at numerous points), and a lack of suspense that makes it fall well short of the expectations set by such comparisons.

They drove a hard bargain, but he was willing to part with his Adrien Brody collection after her counter-offer.

When you adapt plays for the screen, especially these one set high concept types, you expect a certain amount of suspense to carry over with all of the characters cooped up in this one room pitted against each other for the sole position with the company, but there really is never an attempt at creating intense situations or a claustrophobic feel. The camerawork is quite loose and the tone of the film could even be described as playful, as the real intense situation is happening off camera outside the building. This is all by design, but it makes the happenings inside the building feel slight to the point of disinterest. Also, the opening scenes in the movie give away the game by already predisposing us to those competitors who will last the duration of the picture. Starting the film with the cast entering the company’s offices would’ve allowed for an even playing field without the creators tipping their hand so early on. Even though this device is weak, there are a couple of shifts later on in characters that are quite interesting to the credit of the screenwriters.

Colin was a little uneasy inside of Grape Ape’s pleasure dome.

While it may seem like I’m just endlessly ragging on the movie for its shortcomings, I didn’t find the film bad at all. Its concept is intriguing and it raises enough moral questions to keep the viewer involved in the viewing process, even if it doesn’t necessarily lead to anything interesting or relevatory by the film’s end. And something like this relies almost entirely on the cast in order to flourish, and everybody gets a moment to shine in this picture and all fill out their roles quite nicely, keeping the film alive even when the script and direction fails them. So it’s a hesitant recommendation, if the screenwriter of The Sea Inside and Vanilla Sky holds any cache for you or you’re a fan of these high-concept simple set-ups you might find what you’re looking for, otherwise expectations should be tempered.

No longer satisfied with the indoor putting green he had brought to his office, Edward created his own indoor Rollerball rink.

The Package

The cover art isn’t exactly enticing, but my unfamiliarity with the cast (save for Noriega) could be poisoning the well a bit, there. However, more dynamic imagery should’ve been thought of. There isn’t much in the way of extras here, and what they did put on the disc didn’t particularly merit inclusion. You get the U.S. Theatrical Trailer, which is pretty poorly put together, actually. Also on board is a featurette, which doesn’t amount to much of anything but is notable for director Marcelo Pineyro using the vaguest language possible to describe the intangibles each actor/actress brought to their role. When each name is brought up you can rest assured that each person cast in the film brought something only they could bring to the role.

6.5 out of 10

The tension in the room ratcheted up considerably when Gregory threw his hat in the pro-Blue Collar Comedy ring.