The Method



Palm Pictures

NEW YORK -- Much like the ruthless employee selection process that is its main plot element, the Spanish comedy-drama "The Method" suffers from an overly schematic quality. Reminiscent of a reality television show in its depiction of several job hopefuls at a major multinational corporation being subjected to a battery of humiliating mind games, the film betrays its stage origins with its single setting and its heavy doses of irony.

Adapted from the highly successful play "The Gronhom Method," the film mostly takes place in a conference room of the Dekia Corp., where five men and two women have gathered to compete for a management position. While a major anti-globalization protest rages in the streets below them, the seven well-dressed corporate types are forced to participate in an experiment that will weed out their weakest links.

They are, for instance, forced to determine the identity of a company mole in their midst, and to decide who should be eliminated from the remaining slot in an imaginary bomb shelter. Allowed to peruse each other's resumes on the computers that line the room, they also are given the opportunity to exploit the weaknesses of their competition.

Slickly directed by Marcelo Pineyro, who also co-authored the screenplay adaptation of the play by Jordi Galceran, the film is reasonably engrossing without for one second being remotely believable. While the ruthless mechanics of corporate culture is a subject rife with potential, "Method" squanders it with its facile ideas and familiar execution.