The bad good boss, by Luis M. Alonso


‘The good boss’ It has received quite a few accolades. In part they are justified by the joy that in this country comes from laughing heartily at an old taboo that is no longer so, as is the case with the company. The most nominated film in the history of the Goya Awards has a Javier Bardem formidable – perhaps the best performance of his career – in the role of a paternalistic businessman who has inherited his father’s business, determined that his employees pay homage to him by resorting to trickery and blackmail. He also proposes a savage scathing critique with a Manichaean discourse and too thick a line, in an intended context supposedly useful for propaganda purposes of those who finance it with public money and which is also quite rude. The most attentive spectator has the opportunity to verify it right away as soon as the shot lands on the entrance arch of the factory with the name Scales White and watch stunned a reproduction of the portico of Auschwitz, where the abominable words still figureArbeit macht frei’ (Work makes free) that are part of the Nazi literature of extermination. An obviously disproportionate wink that goes beyond any logic by establishing an absurd comparison between a concentration camp in which human beings were gassed and a workplace. Just as the insistence on the scorn of the security employee at the door is too cruel, who has no lack of reasons to say goodbye and who only endures the harassment in the hope of not losing his job.

Even with the excuse of denouncing the limits of power that runs over people, it gives the impression that the first objective of Fernando León de Aranoa, a director who boasts of social sensitivity, is the search for easy laughter from viewers who do not They have more inconvenience in laughing at misfortunes as long as they are someone else’s. It is not surprising, it is the frequent loot of that coarse salt that has characterized Spanish comedy for decades, although the best deconstructors of the Spain of the grotesque they were especially adept at turning satire into an altarpiece with a greater humorous breadth. Even the director of ‘The good boss’ was much more subtle a few years ago portraying job insecurity in ‘Mondays in the Sun’.

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The acclaimed film at the Goya Awards and nominated for the Oscars is a satirical comedy, and every satire worth its salt exalts and ridicules the individual and collective vices of the society it portrays, but on this occasion and at times the contours seem to sharpen unnecessarily around an overly negative cliché. Not because there cannot be patterns of a coat similar to the unexemplary Julio Blanco, the character that Javier Bardem embodies, unprincipled exploiters and profiteers, who do not hesitate to cheat the measures of weight, balance and fidelity that they claim to defend, and that when the time comes point they sexually take advantage of the interns. We know they exist because in this life there is everything. It is the way to stoke the boiler, in addition to the work context, I already say, in which the subsidized film has been forged, which leads one to suspect that the extreme and contrived portrait of an extortionist employer is nothing more than an excuse to submit to a summary trial an entire group that includes responsible businessmen who invest, create jobs, pay their taxes and move the economy. Satire contains a moralizing intention, I know. We also know that that which is exercised over a soldier does not have to degrade an army, unless that is what is intended.

Perhaps not everyone who laughs nervously and has a good time watching Fernando León de Aranoa’s film believes the entirety of the product they consume, and simply cuts out the stereotypical models without worrying about anything else, because if something is clear in ‘The good boss’ it is those redundant excesses that dismantle any moralizing effect. In the event that it was intended to moralize by skinning an entire guild under an intentionally distorted prism. One would have to ask, for example, the producer patron of the film, Jaume Roures, if he feels reflected in some way in the protagonist, after being the target of criticism for the relationship with the workers of his companies at the time of collecting the award at the Goya ceremony.


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