You can’t turn on the radio, pick up a newspaper or surf the web these days without reading about the on-going financial doom and gloom. And now, you can’t go to the cinema without getting a healthy dose of it too.
Margin Call tells the story of an investment firm who realise a storm is coming and decide to sell their assets on the market, in turn putting their buyers out of business, and starting the snowball of snowball effects. Hello financial doom and gloom. Straight forward story about greed and how the people at the top couldn’t give a flying monkeys banana bag about everyone underneath them.
With a cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Demi Moore and Stanley Tucci you’d be expecting rock solid performances. And for the best part you get that. Spacey while likeable doesn’t look like hes breaking too much of a sweat here, but pulls off a performance that transpires from a guy who couldn’t care less to a guy who cares and suddenly has a few moments of conviction. Bettany, Irons and Quinto are all equally solid, with Irons in particular being quite likeable as the ruthless big wig. All that said, there is a certain blandness to most of them, which I guess is quite an accurate portrayal of people (albeit stereotypical) in the financial industry. No offence!
Besides the impending financial wipe out that builds from the very beginning right up until the closing minutes, there is a constant theme of greed and carefree attitude running throughout. And it’s handled quite organically, and seems very par the course. Everybody is obsessed with money. They’re obsessed with what everybody’s salary is. They’re obsessed with how the high salary earners spend it. It’s a constant obsession that is nothing but greed. Even in the beginning as quite a bulk of staff lose their jobs, Kevin Spacey’s character is sitting in an office looking quite upset. But he’s not upset at the job losses. He’s upset about his dying dog. It’s this kind of story telling that may well get the blood boiling in many a viewer.
Tragically, the story may well be to the movies detriment as many people are sick of hearing, reading and watching all things recession. If you can put that to one side, you’ll get a solid, pacey drama that is certainly worth a watch.