As the markets and economy takes a beating again, a movie about the ills of greed seems well-timed and 'Arbitrage' doesn't disappoint. With good performances and a smart screenplay, the movie does err on the side of predictability, but is worth a watch all the same.
What's it about?
On the face of it all, Robert Miller (Richard Gere) has the perfect life. He has an adoring wife (Susan Sarandon), loving children, a hot mistress (Laetitia Casta) and has just sold his company for potloads of money and is trying to land another lucrative deal. However, Miller is desperately trying to hide a huge trading mistake that's cost the company millions and is currently being covered up in the account books by fudged numbers and fake audit reports. The charade can't last forever and soon Miller finds himself in a sticky spot that threatens to destroy his private and professional life.
Greed (as Gere) has never looked better. The actor also looks at ease in the shoes of a philandering, scheming, single malt guzzling tycoon, but maybe we've watched one too many reruns of Gary Marshall movies to not be floored by a perfectly average performance. Brit Marling looks like her character was modelled after Ivanka Trump, though the actress deserves more mention than that. As Brooke, she puts in a good show as the initially adoring daughter, who's disillusioned when she discovers her father's muck up. Sarandon is wasted as the all-knowing Stepford Wife and Roth as the detective hoping to pin Miller down, is unlikeable. Fortunately, the movie jogs along at a fairly quick pace for you to easily overlook the performances and enjoy the plot. We particularly like how director Nicholas Jarecki ends the drama - sans a 'moral of the story', which is a trap you'd expect a documentary maker could fall into.
What to do?
Feeling cerebral, but not adventurous? Then, book your tickets for this smart, entertaining though fairly predictable movie.
in.com rating: 3/5
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