Fernando León de Aranoa’s “The Good Boss” is a movie that will leave you entertained, yet disturbed. It’s a dark workplace comedy with a sharp edge, thanks to the excellent performance by Javier Bardem, who plays Julio Blanco, the head of a mid-sized company that makes and sells weight scales. Bardem’s charismatic presence makes Blanco’s megalomania, duplicity, and self-serving passive-aggression a captivating sight to behold.
De Aranoa’s script is another critical component of the movie’s success. The script has a tight cohesion and is nicely paced, with a great balance of storytelling and character development. The humor comes from unexpected places, making it all the more enjoyable.
Blanco’s company, Blanco Scales, is one of three finalists for a prestigious industry award. The award would provide much-needed subsidies, but it’s really about the glory. Blanco craves the adulation and has an empty trophy wall waiting for the award. With the awards committee set to make a surprise visit, Blanco wants to ensure that everything at the factory is in top form.
The film revolves around Blanco’s attempts to manage his employees and their problems before the awards committee shows up. Throughout the film, we meet a fun array of supporting characters, including Blanco’s friends, coworkers, and interns. The more Blanco meddles in their lives, the more complicated things get, and his paternal charade begins to crumble.
In summary, even at two hours, “The Good Boss” is engaging and entertaining, thanks to its sharp script and Bardem’s excellent performance. Bardem brings Blanco to life, and de Aranoa’s direction ensures that the story never loses its wit or its bite.