I actually hadn’t heard too much about ‘Money Monster’ until the trailers began to surface in cinemas a few weeks back. With its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this also raised my awareness to it, especially due to the nearly four minute standing ovation the film received there. With an all star cast and directed by Jodie Foster this financial thriller had my attention.
Let’s talk about the cast first. George Clooney plays Lee Gates, the host of a financial entertainment information show called Money Monster and where the title of the film comes from. I thought he nailed his performance as the over the top American host and before the main drama begins he is very entertaining in this role showing audiences some of his best dance moves. Julia Roberts play Patty Fenn the director of the show, she is very believable in this role and her dynamic with Clooney is great. I don’t know whether this comes down to the actors having worked together in the past but their performances made it seem like these characters knew each other very well which was the intention to enhance the drama. Making up the trio of leads was Jack O’Connell who is racking up a nice filmography these days. He plays Kyle Budwell, the individual who takes Clooney’s character hostage live on air. O’Connell is good in this role, always showing a real humanity and uncertainty to his character which was perfect for the drama that ensued.
I really liked the narrative to ‘Money Monster’ but at times I thought that the script played for laughs too much. The nature of this story is quite a serious one having real points to raise so I thought if the script hadn’t worried as much about getting a cheap laugh every so often the film could have been that bit more powerful. This lost the film some of it’s authenticity which was a shame. What I thought it did do well though was showcase todays society brilliantly, there are several moments throughout and particularly at the end of the film which really hit the nail on the head with this aspect. The narrative itself isn’t maybe as contained as viewers may have first expected and whilst this could be possibly frustrating for some if you stick with things it’s worth it in the end and the wider narrative feeds back into the more focused one making it all the more effective. The message and contributions to the discussion about stocks, shares and Wall Street are all the more interesting as a result and made easily understandable which makes the film accessible to all.
‘Money Monster’ is to my memory one of, if not the first, film based on financial themes that I have actually enjoyed. The three lead performances, overall narrative and discussion regrading the topic are all great making for a very entertaining film. If the script had been tightened up slightly the film could have been even better but nonetheless ‘Money Monster’ is a very good time at the cinema that even the least knowledgeable individuals regarding finance, like myself, can enjoy.
Rating – 8/10
Question: What is your favourite financial themed film?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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