Film, Movie Reviews

Money Monster (2016)

Film Review

First Published with Starskify

Star and host of financial TV show ‘Money Monster’, hot shot Lee Gates comes under unanticipated ambush during the latest broadcast of the show. The show is succumbed to a hostage situation led by Kyle Budwell, an investor that lost everything after following up a tip provided to him from the show. When a bomb-threat is revealed, the entire crew is forced into a high alert to come to an agreement to settle the circumstances.

Essentially, a real-time, engaging attempt at depicting moralities of economic domains and humanity’s relationship with the stock market. The thrill is enhanced through the up close behind-the-scenes exhibition of production, thus conveying perspectives from in front of camera as well as behind. Generally, there is somewhat of an unbalance when considering the themes or morals behind the feature.

Despite the situations severity, there is still some absent force of panic or alarm. The absurd mannerisms that are, admittedly put across in a convincing way thanks to George Clooney, do in fact contradict the usual demeanour of Wall Street. There are some somewhat feeble attempts of humour, accompanied with hints of drama that don’t quite lift off in ways that would be desirable for this kind of production. Yet, despite these marginally minimal disagreements, the action does in fact retain attention throughout and keeps audiences guessing.

The show itself is something that has been thrust into the entertainment sector of broadcasting, diverging from it’s core subject of money and finance. Instead, the host is portrayed as a performer, one that hauls viewers into huge potential profit or – as demonstrated – disastrous loss. Lee Gates is a man that has each watcher wrapped around his golden fingers, able to manipulate them in the ways his producers want. He has everything, yet, as explored during the conflict, he is still lacking in many other desirable qualities in life.

Coupled alongside the protagonist’s overbearing facade, is the voice in his ear piece belonging to the show’s producer. Patty Fenn is driven, hard-working and is the main cog allowing this production to function. Her efficient approach provides stability to what can be considered a thrilling narrative of events. It comes down to her direction that motivates Lee through the unlikely proceedings that occur right in front of them.

money_monster_2016
Money Monster (2016) – source: TriStar Pictures

Despite being predominantly confined to the control room for the majority of her screen time, it is Julia Roberts’ performance that particularly shines. She manages to portray the real turmoils to producing entertainment TV and the levels of work that go into directing a mix of crew members. The relationship between her and her co-worker is admirable, with inside jokes that exhibits depth to their past together.

The lack of consideration from the money-driven individuals associated with the stock markets is addressed head on, yet we can still sympathise with the arrogant persona because of the situation they have been unwillingly forced into. Mixed feelings are obtained after viewing the disorder unfold on screen, but overall proves an enjoyable presentation of a serious situation.


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