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The movie: 'Human Resource Manager'

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, February 21, 2012
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Bangalore: "Human Resources Manager" adroitly mixes moving personal drama, absurdist comedy and site-specific cultural situations. More than anything, this is an intelligent audience picture, a solid and engrossing piece of old-school filmmaking, both humane and character driven, in which the various protagonists learn something-not too much and not too easily-about the nature of their lives. Both geographically and dramatically, "The Human Resources Manager" covers a lot of territory. It was Yehoshua's conceit, which the film repeats, to allow none of the characters, starting with the human resources manager himself, to have given the name. The only person dignified with a name is Yulia Ragayev, a woman we never meet but the person whose death starts the story.

It starts out with a phenomenally strong dramatic question concerning corporate and personal responsibility: a woman, killed in a suicide bomber blast in Jerusalem, and who had three weeks earlier been let go from employment at Israel's largest bakery, is discovered by a journalist to have still been on the bakery's payroll. When the bakery's Human Resources Manager (the excellent Mark Ivanir, who will almost certainly become a bit of an international star after this) investigates, he discovers a secret which exposes the company to a potential public relations disaster. Dogged by a tabloid journalist, dealing with a divorce and the mercurial "widow head" of the corporation, his moral, ethical and professional dilemma is powerful, tangible and interesting.

"The Human Resources Manager" is touching, lighthearted, and tastefully rendered. There is no attempt to politicize the situation in regards to the circumstances that precipitated the film's events. But while the story gets off to a promising start, by the final act it had floundered slightly, though this little diminishes its overall impact.

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