Inhuman Resources, a six-part Netflix series, is an entertaining yet unbelievable look at alienation and the cut-throat world of big business.
Based on the book by Pierre Lemaitre, it stars ex-footballer Eric Cantona as unemployed Alain Delambre.
Six years ago Alain was a human resources manager at a middle sized company, but was sacked for being too old.
Since then Alain hasn’t been employed in a stable job, and been doing precarious work such as passing out leaflets and working in warehouses.
Much of the first part of the series shows how financial strain is deeply damaging to Alain and his relationship with his partner and family.
Lingering shots of mould on walls and an unfinished kitchen show just how much the family is struggling.
And what Inhuman Resources does well is show the alienation many of us experience both in the workplace and out.
At one point Alain says, “I’ll either get this job or I’ll die.”
But what starts quite promisingly becomes ultimately just a little bit silly.
A company offers Alain a job interview, which he passes to go to round two of the hiring process.
He is then told that he will be interrogating executives to see who is the most loyal to the company and who should be sacked.
But he will do this in a hostage situation.
The company not only wants to lay off executives, but more than a thousand workers in one of their factories. So the hostage plan is devised to find the toughest human resources manager in all of France and to get rid of executives.
Alain turns from a downtrodden depressed worker to a tough guy partial to violence in pursuit of this job. He fights with his partner and even steals from his daughter.
It’s a story of how people go to great lengths to get jobs and to survive.
And it’s about the dehumanising lengths big business will plumb to keep making profit. The unbelievable plot undermines the point.
The series is trying to say, look at what this system does to desperate people. But really that message is lost to an overdramatic and bloated plot.