Review: The Good Boss | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, October 5th, 2022  

The Good Boss

Studio: Cohen Media Group
Director: Fernando León de Aranoa

Aug 21, 2022 Web Exclusive
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The Good Boss is a searing, thought-provoking look at the hypocrisy of capitalism and corporate culture. The film garnered six wins at this year’s Goya Awards – Spain’s most prominent film awards – including the award for Best Film.

Set during a single week, director Fernando León de Aranoa’s film explores the comings and goings of Blanco Scales, a successful manufacturing company that supplies products to Spain’s industrial and bureaucratic systems. At the heart of the company is Blanco (Javier Bardem), a calculated, obsessive CEO who uses his faux charming demeanor and seemingly positive energy to make his workers feel comfortable and, as a result, to increase their productivity. In this particular week, Blanco’s goal is to ensure that the company’s performance impresses a well-known committee that is considering giving them a prestigious business award.

Unfortunately, things don’t go to plan. Instead, the week is filled with one dramatic moment after another, including supply chain troubles, protesting workers and illicit affairs. As things become more complicated, Blanco takes increasingly dangerous steps to ensure that his personal and his company’s reputation do not suffer.

The Good Boss is a quick-paced film. The story revolves entirely around Blanco’s perspective, following him as he speeds from one situation to the next, trying to extinguish one fire while causing another one. This element creates a sense of repetition. The character works in the same locations, talks to the same people and retains the same attitude from start to finish. Regardless, the screenplay’s ability to balance and weave multiple threads makes the film deeply engrossing, keeping the audience on the edge of their seat, fearful of what could happen next.

The Good Boss’ structure also helps reinforce the film’s satirical elements and its themes on capitalism’s destructiveness. The film opens by establishing Blanco as a charismatic character while including subtle hints that suggest he is anything but. As the film moves from one situation to the next, the script peels the character like an onion, revealing deeper attitudes and tendencies that reinforce his true narcissistic, disassociated nature. In this sense, Léon de Aranoa aligns the film’s central character with the capitalist system as a whole, suggesting that while both initially appear welcoming and equal, those qualities disappear when the individual gain is at stake.

While The Good Boss’ sharp script and unforgiving critique of the laissez-faire economy are both strong, Javier Bardem’s central performance truly makes the film shine. This role is unlike many of the Academy Award-winning actor’s other most acclaimed roles, where he often assumes quieter characters who rely on intense silence to sell tension. Blanco’s character is the opposite of that. Instead, Bardem’s loudness, paired with his ability to slowly yet viscerally unravel as his character finds himself in more and more dialogue-heavy settings, truly makes the film a striking success. (www.cohenmedia.net/product/the-good-boss)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10



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