El buen patron: an irresistible comedy of amorality [critique]

Javier Bardem excels in this film which marks the winning return of the director of Mondays in the Sun to the field of social chronicle and triumphed at the last Goyas.

He walked away with A day like any otherimmersed in the war in Bosnia and then Escobar on the Colombian drug trafficker. Fernando León de Aranoa reconnects here with the world of social chronicle which revealed him 20 years ago with Mondays in the sun. His first collaboration with Javier Bardem who masterfully embodies Juan Blanco, the hero of this fierce comedy. A boss heir to a factory manufacturing scales that seems to be the perfect mix of enveloping paternalism and just authority. Too good to be true ? A handful of minutes are enough to understand it. First by off-screen cries. Those of an employee furious at his dismissal who goes to camp in front of the factory to protest. The beginning of a series of troubles for Blanco, between his foreman who puts the production of scales in danger after discovering his wife’s infidelity and an irresistible trainee (Almudena Amor, already brilliant in Abuela) with whom Blanco sleeps before discovering that it is the daughter of relatives and who will not let it go when he dumps her like an old sock. El buen patron is built like a mousetrap gradually choking Blanco and de Aranao excels just as much in the rise of this trap as in its deployment and its collateral damage. He knows how to shift just enough from a seemingly programmatic narrative to an epilogue to triumphant amoralism. And brilliantly recounts the muted violence of the corporate world, which you can only get out of by turning your guns against it. A demonstration of force and farce.

By Fernando Leon de Aranoa. With Javier Bardem, Manolo Solo, Sonia Almarcha… Duration: 2h. Released June 22, 2022

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