Friday, 8 March 2013

film review: arbitrage

With his moneyed exterior and supreme self-assurance, hedge-fund capitalist Robert Miller (Richard Gere) epitomises the maxim that image is everything; that the projection of success is as important as actual success. Director Nicholas Jarecki seemingly operates from a similar principle, his debut feature using a financial-ese title and high-calibre cast to create a semblance of intelligence and depth not supported by the content.

Jarecki’s chief coup is the casting of Gere, whose slick demeanour fits the role like a bespoke Rolex. As Miller’s life unravels due to a mix of misjudgements and bad driving, Gere convincingly conveys the character’s uncowed arrogance, as he scrabbles to salvage a fraudulent merger while evading the attentions of a dogged homicide detective. But given lines like “I’m a patriarch! That’s my role!”, the actor’s composure understandably falters, and with little of consequence to say about the bubbled world it depicts (and a plot that collapses into conveniences), Arbitrage is ultimately left as depleted as its protagonist’s balance sheet.

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