Thriller makes you take stock

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

BUB­BLING with com­men­tary about the me­dia, cor­po­rate greed and in­fo­tain­ment, Jodie Foster’s fourth fea­ture is a taut thriller with A-list star wattage and food for thought.

Super-slick and bor­der­line sleaze­ball fi­nan­cial TV show host Lee Gates (Ge­orge Clooney) dishes out stock ex­change ad­vice to his au­di­ence with the help of eye­catch­ing graph­ics and scant­ily clad back-up dancers.

Of­ten go­ing off script is a con­stant headache for his di­rec­tor Patty Fenn (Ju­lia Roberts), but the charm­ing star’s style pulls the rat­ings.

When blue col­lar worker Kyle Bud­well (Jack O'Con­nell), pos­ing as a courier, stum­bles on to the set, Patty thinks it is an­other Lee Gates stunt but Kyle soon re­veals a gun and forces the host to wear a vest wired with ex­plo­sives.

Kyle de­mands to know why, af­ter he in­vested $60,000 in a boom­ing busi­ness based on Lee’s ad­vice, the com­pany took a huge hit cost­ing its in­vestors $800 mil­lion, but no one is buy­ing the com­pany’s PR spin re­sponse.

Timely with Perth coun­cils’ re­cent move to­wards greater trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity, Money Mon­ster takes the point of view of the ev­ery­man who is of­ten for­got­ten yet the one who pays the price for the greed and lies of those in power.

As Kyle’s plight is broad­cast around the coun­try, Foster takes aim at the blurred line be­tween en­ter­tain­ment and in­for­ma­tion shar­ing with Lee fi­nally re­al­is­ing the con­se­quences of his on­screen an­tics and per­sona.

While ten­sion is high, namely due to the fact that we are able to em­pathise with all the main char­ac­ters (yes, even Lee, who is still like­able de­spite his ar­ro­gance – ku­dos to Clooney’s skill), there is a sur­pris­ing amount of hu­mour.

Money Mon­ster is a nice bal­ance of thrills and thought-pro­vok­ing com­men­tary.

Ge­orge Clooney and Ju­lia Roberts.

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