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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Arbitrage

March 1st, 2013 by Big Phil Comments

Arbitrage (15)
Directed by: Nicholas Jarecki
Starring: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling
Running time: 107 min

A troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help.

Robert Miller (Gere) is a highly successful financial businessman who has just celebrated his 60th birthday with his loving wife Ellen (Sarandon), his daughter and financial business accountant Brooke (Marling) and his wider circle of family and friends.

For all of his public success, Robert’s company is not what it appears to be. With a loan of over $400 Million Dollars needing repaid urgently which hinges on the successful deal of him selling his company, Robert is in difficult times.

Times that will heap more misfortune upon his shoulders when his business associate and girlfriend demands more time with him, and one which will lead to a tragedy that could endanger Robert’s company and possibly his very life. Will his trust a friend’s son be his saviour or his reckoning?

Arbitrage is one of those films that, if you understand business terms or have a mild interest, then you will relish the screenplay and performances. The main character of Robert Miller is in a similar vein to Richard Gere’s most recognisable performance in Pretty Woman. That is until things start to rapidly fall away beneath his feet and the audience realises just how far Robert will go to save his company, the employees and perhaps even himself.

This is a great solo performance from Richard Gere and one that returns him to the more hard-lined roles he played in the past. His co-stars also turn in fine performances with Susan Sarandon portraying the blinkered-eye doting wife. However, it’s Tim Roth’s portrayal as Detective Bryer that viewers may recognise. He suitably blends characteristics of Peter Falk’s Columbo, with the hunched back, awkward fitting suit and throws in a fairly believable New York accent.

The plot is intricately lined with realistic business terms, procedures and legalities mixed with impending danger, so to speak. Though the script doesn’t have the punchy lines of Wall Street, or the innuendo laden Glengarry Glen Ross, Arbitrage is indeed worthy to be mentioned in the same breath as these classics.

The actors, some of which may only have a scene or two, make the film flow with ease. Thanks to the plot and steady but forward moving direction by Director Nicholas Jarecki, the audience feels both sympathy and anger towards Robert Miller.

If you enjoy solid performances and an intelligent plot, then Arbitrage is well worth seeing, if only to have Richard Gere back on the silver screen in something that is not a romantic comedy.

3 out of 5 Nerds

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I arrived on Earth in 1977 and have virtually devoted my entire existence to cult films, television programmes and cartoons. I am a very big fan of Star Wars and Star Trek; I may struggle with foreign languages but I can order live Gagh in Klingon! I’m the Nerd that knows the trivia but I’m hopeless at sport!