"The Efficiency Expert," directed by Mark Joffe and released in 1991, is an Australian comedy-drama that offers a satirical look at corporate culture and management practices. The film is based on the novel "Efficiency Expert" by Bryce Courtenay and features a notable cast, including Anthony Hopkins, Russell Crowe, Toni Collette, and Ben Mendelsohn.
The story follows the character of Errol Wallace, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, who is a seasoned management consultant with a reputation for turning around failing businesses. Wallace is tasked with improving the efficiency of a struggling Australian factory. As he arrives at the factory, he encounters a group of eccentric and unique employees, each with their quirks and challenges.
One of the central themes of the film is the clash between Wallace's rigid, efficiency-driven approach to management and the laid-back, unconventional culture of the Australian factory. Wallace's attempts to implement changes and streamline operations lead to both comedic and dramatic situations as he interacts with the diverse group of workers, each of whom has their own perspective on work and life.
Russell Crowe, in one of his earlier roles, plays the character of Kim Barry, a skilled machinist at the factory. Toni Collette also delivers a notable performance as Wendy Robinson, a factory worker with dreams of becoming a rock star. Ben Mendelsohn, another Australian actor, is featured in the film as Carey, adding to the ensemble cast.
While "The Efficiency Expert" may not have garnered widespread critical acclaim, it has been praised for its engaging performances and the humor derived from the clash of personalities and cultures in the workplace. The film provides a lighthearted and entertaining exploration of the dynamics between management and employees, offering a satirical take on the corporate world.