Friday, January 30, 2009

Bienvenido a Farewell-Gutmann (Welcome to Farewell-Gutmann)

A classic drama full of words and tight performances that follows three top executives that run for their promotion after the head of the Human Resources Department director (Ruiz) dies at the multinational pharmaceutical company. The film totally looks and feels like a stage play which makes it at times hard to watch as becomes a little boring to follow all the cliché power struggle between them that is filmed in a quite claustrophobic way that does not add to the narrative but makes it tiring to watch.

The Xavi Puebla film basically tells about the productive Adela, who fights for the recognition she’s been denied during years because of the dead director machismo; Lázaro, Ruiz’s left-hand, despises Adela professionally though he tries to sleep with her whenever he can and Fernando, lost in his alcoholism since his wife left him, does not have enough self-esteem to think of himself as a candidate. Their fragile relationships change when eccentric executive Luger arrives from the headquarters to choose who is going to lead the Department. But the not so imaginative twist is that each of the executives is interviewing prospects and what they do to them is similar to what Luger does to each executive.

The movie was around the fest circuit mainly in Europe where won 5 awards and had 11 nominations including Ana Fernandez (Adela) winning the Silver Biznaga at the 2008 Malaga fest and Xavi Puebla and Jesus Gil Vilda winning the Best Screenplay at the 2008 Montreal fest and at the 2008 Gaudi Awards. Perhaps the screenplay is not that bad, but I believe that the way the movie was constructed was not interesting or engaging thus making Puebla a not so good storyteller.

I cannot recommend this movie as definitively was not pleasant to watch, but if you like to see heavy and wordy stage dramas in the big screen perhaps you should give it a try. Still if you’re interested in movies that deal with high executives struggles I recommend you watch La Question Humaine that has a more interesting plot.

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