7 años Reviews
It spends no more than 90 seconds (I went back and double checked) of opening dialogue & hurried introduction before the plot has shown up two of the four friends/employees at their multi-million dollar company HQ. Almost immediately - as not to allow the viewers to form any sort of bias or personal score against any singular character - we are off to the races, and the audience is quite obviously meant to be the surrogate cast member of the man playing a mediation lawyer, Jose, hired just minutes before starting the discussion that plays out in real time.
It's interesting to note the small things that go a long way - and there is much deserved credit to this director's ability to manipulate the audience's sense of perception by neglecting Jose's point of view in their meeting room. Instead, the cameras are drawn to - practically to completion - which ever character is currently speaking. Little and less time to who their speaking to, as their reactions to their individual statements eventually is displayed when they speak out or raise issue with someone/something. Therein lies the power of the film: If you feel differently, speak up now or keep quiet....but this is tricky, and easy said than done. It feels like the INSTANCE they might make a compelling or "objective" case determining who will go to jail, our gears are turning and we assume there is more going on. Our instincts tell us it can't be that simple. Or what if they're tricking me/you/anyone else? How do I know they won't change their minds?
All of these things unfurl beautifully, spinning webs of paranoia while constructing opaque, transparent walls around each character so they can be measured & quantified. "How much is 7 years [in prison] worth to you? How do you come up with these rates and adjust accordingly?" Indeed, oh indeed.