In this media age it pays to be a good orator. Those who know how to sell products are much in demand as the many home shopping networks attest. We live in an era of constant selling, whether it’s stocks, cars or other items. ‘Money Monster’ explores what happens when complete trust is placed in such people. How one’s person’s belief in what they’ve been told leads to desperate acts showing the danger in accepting anything at face value. Directed by Jodie Foster, ‘Money Monster’ is a tense thriller hopefully making audiences think twice about what they see and hear.
Lee Gates (George Clooney) is a host of a popular finance TV show. Working with his producer Patty (Julia Roberts), Lee dispenses his Wall Street wisdom about which stocks and bonds to buy. Lee’s words come back to haunt him when he meets Kyle (Jack O’Connell). A viewer who followed his financial advice and lost everything. Kyle’s disgruntlement becomes Lee’s displeasure. Events spiral quickly out of control as Kyle takes the TV station hostage with his gun and fury putting Lee and his crew in the line of fire.
‘Money Monster’ is a very topical essay on how society is easily drawn into schemes. Seeing is not always believing with Clooney’s slick cash seller masking the deficiencies of the financial system. Perfectly cast as the sly shyster, Clooney excels in his character’s fluid use of the truth and determination to reach goals at any price. Roberts and O’Connell give equally strong performances as people desperately using skills at opposite ends of the crisis. They effectively convey the situation’s danger as they grapple to achieve outcomes suited to their characters.
Foster’s economical direction wrings the best from the thin premise. Tension is keenly felt through every frame with scenes crackling with bitter regrets and continuing rage. Although it’s easy kicking financial institutions, Foster ensures all sides of the argument are shown with illegal practices having a devastating emotional domino effect. The cinematography evokes memories of classic 70’s conspiracy thrillers to which recent films seem to be returning. The ‘in your face’ quality draws you into events, giving an immediacy in the increasingly volatile situation.
Another solid directorial outing from Foster, ‘Money Monster’ moves at a gripping pace. Money may perhaps be the root of all evil but falling for any old con is just as worse. The art of research and discovery something many in current society should adhere.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 8
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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