WARNING: the article contains spoilers on The Consultant, the Amazon Prime Video TV series!!
To rewrite the characteristics of the modern villain, just borrow the face of Christoph Waltz and thread it into the perverse gears of the capitalist system. The result would be a somewhat suffocating story, bordering on delirium, but extremely effective in conveying that sense of unease that we aim to instill in the viewer’s soul. It is what it is The Consultant, the eight-episode thriller that appeared a little quietly on the Amazon Prime Video catalog at the end of February. The series was written by Tony Basgallop (Inside Men, Servant) and is based on the writer’s novel of the same name Bentley Little. It is a lucid and extreme tale about theimpact of the capitalist system in people’s working lives. A story with almost dystopian tones, halfway between a psychological thriller and a surreal uchronia. At the center of the narrative, a few characters, endowed with only a hint of three-dimensionality. All pieces of a puzzle that never comes together definitively, wheels of that mammoth gear that is the contemporary production system, son and progenitor of an impressive series of contradictions that tear apart our society.
In this degenerate and alienating context, that evil genius of Christoph Waltz takes center stage, centralizing all the attention on himself.
The Oscar Award, which we have learned to appreciate above all thanks to the interpretation of the SS officer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds – one of the most fascinating villains who have written the history of cinema – and in the guise of Dr King Schultz in Django Unchainedinterpreta in The Consultant and company consultant, ready to come to the rescue when the fortunes of a company in difficulty need to be improved. CompWare is a gaming company run by Sangwoo, a little boy in his early twenties who managed to establish himself on the mobile game app market. However, the young Korean boss dies in violent circumstances, during a visit by children to the office, when one of them suddenly takes out a gun and shoots Sang in the head. After the boss’s death, the employees, deprived of a guide who can direct them, try to understand what will happen to their professional future. But they don’t even have time to ask themselves questions when it immediately falls to CompWare Regus Patoffa consultant in a suit and tie who takes over Sang’s office and tries to reorganize the struggling company.
Regus Patoff is the most chilling component of all the show offered by The Consultant.
The character played by Christoph Waltz is enigmatic and terrifying. His face is a chilling mask, his eyes impenetrable, his smile a devilish grin that manages to make you shiver. No one knows who exactly Regus Patoff is. There is no profile of him available on the net, the employees have no idea what his intentions are. He’s sort of sociopathic ghost hired by Sang before he was killed, who presents himself to the company as the consultant in charge of putting the accounts in order, limiting losses and increasing productivity. He is the personification – in some situations, almost the parody – of modern financial boss, the one who gives orders looking only at numbers and statistics. His depersonalizing vision of work makes him perfect contemporary villain, cynical, insensitive, detached, interested only in rescuing the balance sheet, at any price. Waltz’s interpretation is perfect. Maybe even too much. The Consultant in fact it lives by reflex, it gnaws at the spaces left free by the actor. The focus is entirely on his character, his tics, his way of moving his gaze from one thing to another, his foibles and gestures of assent. Christoph Waltz has it right, again. The collaboration with Tarantino gave him great international fame, but there are also products like this that testify to the extraordinary talent of the European actor.
The facial expressions, the expressions of the mouth, the way of speaking, are so monopolizing as to weaken and weaken everything else. Even the way in which he stands still, without saying a word, motionless and silent, is overloaded with an invisible energy that manages to take over the screen every time and engulf everything. Weaknesses of The Consultant perhaps derive from the fact that the central character has a magnetism such as to obscure the secondary ramifications of the series. Which sets itself a goal that is not easy to achieve: to draw an extremizing and exaggerated picture of the degeneration of the capitalist system. The dominion of technology has standardized individuals to components of a machine, has transformed them into frightened and fragile beings, ready to distort their connotations in order to survive in that great perverse mechanism that is the modern world, where those who have the strength to stay standing survives, while those who fail to impose themselves on others, in the end, fall behind and succumb. The Consultant enrolls in the ranks of those shows, such as Split (series of the year?)Black Mirror o Squid Game, who try to enhance the contradictions of the contemporary world, showing us the limit maximum that an individual can reach without depersonalizing himself and remaining faithful to his own moral principles.
Regus Patoff is theevil element which takes over CompWare, putting employees in competition with each other. He is a sort of devil in a suit and tie who takes root in each of our consciences, always ready to push us beyond the ethical boundaries we have erected to protect our souls. Capitalism, finance, the excessive power of technocracy act on the present in this way: they take root in our time and behave like a corrosive solvent which little by little disrupts individuals, making them lose the perception of what is right and what is wrong, disorienting them and leaving them powerless to face the dangers and threats of modernity. Life becomes one big game where winning is nearly impossible. And, in fact, most people get to a certain level and then succumb, accumulating frustration and anger. The professional sphere of the human being is outlined in The Consultant as a place only apparently glittering and seductive, but in reality profoundly cramped and alienating. It is a suffocating interlude wedged between words Play e Game Over, in which individuals believe they are winning and instead end up losing lives little by little. The one drawn by The Consultant it’s a terrifying prospect, but a very interesting one to decode. And, above all, it’s another unmissable opportunity to see Christoph Waltz at work, who really doesn’t miss a beat. AND always leaves its mark.
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