The Good Boss Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

 

Julio Blanco (Javier Bardem) is a successful entrepreneur, owner of the Scales Blanco industrial scale company. The motto of the scale factory, inscribed on the walls of the main workshop, is “Strength, balance, accuracy.” Julio inherited this enterprise from his father, and he likes to say that all the employees of Blanco Libra are, as it were, his family, and in relation to them he does not play the role of a boss, boss, but rather acts as a guardian and protector.

At the moment, a competition is being held among the enterprises of the city, and Julio is very concerned that he and his enterprise will win. He already has more than a dozen such awards, but getting a prize at this competition is extremely important for him, because this is the main competition, a kind of “Oscar” for entrepreneurs.

However, not everything goes smoothly at the Scales Blanco factory. Julio’s right-hand man, an old friend and companion of Miralles (Manolo Solo), who plays the second most important role in the enterprise after Blanco, has gone crazy. His wife Aurora (Mara Guil) cheats on him, Miralles is constantly in a completely irritated state, and because of this, he makes serious miscalculations at work: for example, he managed to order the wrong chips that were needed, as a result of which the assembly shop stopped and the head of the shop Khaled (Tariq Rmili) is furious about this, and he and Miralles constantly swear.

Julio also had to resolve problems with the son of his oldest worker Fortuna (Celso Bugallo): the son got in touch with a bad company, they attacked a group of migrants and beat one of them badly, the guy was detained, so now Blanco needs to get him out of jail, also attach him to job so the guy doesn’t have time to hang around with his buddies. But, of course, he would not take him to the Scales Blanco company; before the commission’s visit, he only lacked a criminal in the state. But he will attach the guy to do the errands for his wife Julio Adela (Sonia Almarcha) – she keeps a small fashion store.

Another big problem is Jose (Oscar de la Fuente), a recently fired accountant. The family is a family, but the states need to be optimized, so Jose was fired, despite the fact that he was in a desperate situation at the same time: he has two small children in his care, who now have nothing to support. And José, instead of leaving quietly, first makes a scandal in the personnel department, and then makes a tent camp next to the gates of the enterprise, unfolds slogans with offensive inscriptions there and shouts all sorts of insults to Señor Blanco through a megaphone when he drives up to the factory in his car.

So Julio will have to exert all his managerial talents in order to cope with all this. In addition, some trainee birds have just flown out from under the wing of Blanco’s Libra, and new young trainee girls have come to work, one of which, Liliana (Almudena Amor), clearly delights Blanco’s optic nerve. Well, you know. It’s all his family. And family bonds can be very, very strong. Moreover, Julio practiced this more than once: he chose an intern for himself, to whom he began to treat with particular attention and, frankly, not only in a fatherly way.

***

The original title of the painting, El buen patrón, in this case translates as “Good Patron”, and not at all as “The Best Boss”. Well, this is emphasized in the picture: the boss, the boss in Spanish is el jefe (el jefe), and the subordinates call Senor Blanco exactly patrón, not the boss.

Structurally, the film is divided into seven sections, each of which is named after a day of the week: from Monday to Sunday. If you wish, you can draw some analogies with Holy Week here, especially since there is a certain correspondence with the events of Holy Week here – of course, on the appropriate scale of this Blanco’s little world: betrayal on Wednesday, a kind of last supper on Thursday, some kind of sacred sacrifice on Friday , – however, I do not think that the director (who is also the screenwriter) of the film Fernando Leon De Aranoa consciously followed this.

“The Best Boss” is a kind of sitcom with a certain social overtones. The central character of the picture is an incredibly charming scoundrel. Yes, Julio Blanco, with all his charm and great charisma, is, of course, a negative character. He has a terribly inflated sense of self-importance and selfishness, he is an obvious hypocrite with this sweet and sour “we are all one family, your problems are my problems.” Yes, he solves or tries to solve other people’s problems, but he does this either so that the behavior of the employee does not interfere with business, as in the case of Miralles, or in order to enlist the support of a character from near-criminal circles whom he could attract for various delicate tasks, as in the case of the son of Fortune.

He is also lustful and always chooses for himself a new passion among the trainees dependent on him, whom he could, so to speak, “shove”. And this is exactly what is called: he does not fall in love with these girls, he is driven solely by lust. And they can fall in love with him, but Blanco does not care about their feelings at all, and, having used them, he immediately throws these women out of his life.

However, although you do not feel at least some sympathy for this character and with some gloating watch how a wide variety of problems are wound around him, it is nevertheless interesting to watch how he will get out of these problems. And he knows how to resolve all sorts of difficult situations and even his obvious defeats can turn to his advantage.

Javier Bardem as Senor Blanco is something absolutely incredible. Bardem is an excellent actor, he has many wonderful roles, but there is something special here, and you can see how much the actor himself enjoys portraying this character, and portraying a charming scoundrel, while demonstrating excellent self-irony. All these supposedly sympathetic gestures of his, the pursing of his lips, all sorts of “Miralles, Miralles, Miralles” pronounced by a velvety baritone when admonishing an employee – well, just shine! And here it’s downright his benefit, because it’s absolutely impossible to break away from his character!

There is a lot of good humor in the picture, and very soft and kind of unobtrusive, and there are really a lot of really very funny episodes. The protesting accountant Jose simultaneously introduces a certain touch of light buffoonery, but he was balanced by the security guard Roman, and this couple, as well as exactly how Roman guards the interests of the company, are absolutely hilarious.

There are also many funny symbolic moments. For example, the old shop scales, standing as a symbol at the entrance to the factory, as a symbol of balance. So, these scales are not always in balance: either a bird sits on them, or something else worse happens, and Senor Blanco is always trying to somehow return the scales to the standard.

There are also some unexpected plot twists here, when Senor Blanco had to specifically strain. And it’s funny how this quirky character managed to pull it all off.

The ending didn’t disappoint either. If it were an American film, it is obvious that Julio Blanco would finally get what he deserved: his wife would have left him, his mistress would have cheated on him, his old partner had left him, the business had failed and the unfortunate Blanco would have ended his days in jail or under a bridge.

But the film is Spanish, so Senor Blanco – here I’ll spoil it a little – remained a completely worthy member of society and wisely continued his life’s work. And there new interns pulled up. However, of course, there is one delicate scene at the very end, leaving in some way an “open ending”, but we believe that this character will be fine, amen.

Good movie, I liked it very much. It seems unpretentious, but very nice and with good humor, and Javier Bardem is just some kind of delight!

In Spain, the film made a splash: as many as 20 nominations for the main film award “Goya”, of which six wins, including “Best Film”, “Best Director”, “Best Actor” and “Best Screenplay”. Also, this picture was a candidate from Spain for the Oscar nominations, but it did not make the shortlist.

PS I listened to the Russian voice acting. There are no problems with translation, the text is very simple. The voice acting is done with dignity: Blanco, he has the same velvety baritone as Bardem’s, and he conveys intonations very similarly. In USA, it can be viewed on several streaming services, there are links on IMDB.

The Good Boss / El buen patron

Director: Fernando Leon De Aranoa Cast: Javier Bardem, Manolo Solo, Almudena Amor, Oscar de la Fuente, Sonia Almarcha, Fernando Albizu, Tarik Rmily, Rafa Castejon, Celso Bugallo, Francesc Orella, Mara Guil, Sonia Almarcha

Worldwide gross: 5.4 million
Comedy, Spain, 2021, 120 min.

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