Monday, October 3, 2011

MFF Film #26 - The Human Resources Manager

Israel/Germany/France/Romania, 2010
Hebrew/English/Romanian with English subtitles
Director: Eran Riklis

When a suicide bomber is killed in Jerusalem, her death is partly blamed on her former employer, a bakery, because she had been recently terminated.  As part of a public relations cleanup, the human resources manager is dispatched to identify her body and transport it back to Romania, her native country.  He never knew the woman, yet to save his job, he accepts the assignments and embarks on a strange  road trip involving an equally strange cast of characters who are picked up along the way.

I enjoyed The Human Resources Manager, but was led to believe that it was going to be more humorous than it turned out to be.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the overall tone of the film was very dry.  I did appreciate some of the sight gags (the replacement vehicle for their broken down van being an enormous, military-issue Humvee was a nice touch).

I didn't feel like I saw an outstanding film after seeing The Human Resources Manager, but it was an average, decent film that did the most with a minimal story, partly due to a good pace.  Unfortunately, the biggest problem with The Human Resources Manager is its distance and slight coldness.  None of the main characters were really fleshed out, so there wasn't a lot of sentimentality nor much to relate to beyond the most superficial level. 

The Human Resources Manager is efficiently made and enjoyable on some levels, but walking out of it, I didn't have any strong feelings about it.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I expect a film to have at least some residual effect on me, and The Human Resources Manager simply didn't do that for me.

MFF Ballot Rating: 3 out of 5

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