Director Marcelo Piñeyro presents us with an interesting concept in this Spanish-Argentinean production. Seven candidates are summoned for a final round of interviews in a company that is looking to fill an executive position. These people soon find out that the method used by the prospective employer is not even close to being conventional. They are informed through release forms that they are going to participate in the Gronholm method of selection, but nobody is sure what this entails.
The seven candidates are taken to a room with a monitor and keyboard for each, and then the games begin! The process resembles many of the reality shows you can see on TV, with one candidate being eliminated in each round. In Trump's "The Apprentice" the person leaving gets the phrase "You're fired", in this case, the monitor shuts down and an electronic voice says "It's over". But even though the concept is not completely original, the personalities of the candidates, and the design of the process give this film enough elements to make it worthwhile.
The candidates are the key to this film. Julio is a lawyer and economist who seems to be overqualified for the position, but carries some baggage from the past. Ricardo is the first one to get annoyed by all the nonsense, like having to fill forms that they have filled before in the process. If you have ever had to fill forms in a doctor's office, that ask for duplicate information, you will certainly sympathize with him. Nieves is an attractive young woman who seems to know exactly what she wants, and she has met Carlos, who is another candidate, in her previous life. Carlos is a young economist who has as much drive as all the other candidates put together and who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. Ana is an older woman, who has had a successful career in the music industry and is looking for the next challenge, in a world that is dominated by the young. Fernando is a typical macho that speaks his mind and does not like conniving individuals. Last but not least, we have Enrique, who is the one that is most interested in the actual method of selection and loves to be involved in this process. The only other character on the film is Montse, a secretary that is as creepy as they come, and alternates baffling smiles with serious looks that can pulverize rock.
The movie centers around the way in which the interview process affects the attitudes of the candidates. We can definitely see how from an initial desire to be accepted by the others, the individuals start shifting their actions and are dominated by greed. There are many twists along the way as to the rules by which the contestants are playing, which helps keep things entertaining. There are also many scenes in which the tension can be sliced with a knife. But this movie succeeds mainly due to the outstanding performances of a first rate cast. It is great to see Pablo Echarri once again in a leading role and taking that on with gusto. Also, Ernesto Alterio, the son of one of the best Argentinean actors of all time, Hector Alterio, shows us that some abilities can be acquired through genes. He portrays the nervous Enrique so convincingly, that at times you feel like grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking him, to see if he will calm down.
On another note, I have seen many movies in Spanish that are ruined by the translation in the English subtitles. I am happy to say that this is not the case for this film, since we get an accurate translation that prevents those that do not speak Spanish from missing anything. Basically, this film is the complete package, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.