Arbitrage: Movie Review
ar·bi·trage: noun The simultaneous buying and selling of securities, currency, or commodities in different markets or in derivative forms in order to take advantage of differing prices for the same asset.
Arbitrage is a tale that shows how power, greed, lust and desperation can make a mess out of a man’s life. A financial thriller with some real classy acting, Arbitrage lives up to its expectations making it stand out amongst the lot of fantasy and ‘extra’ fictitious films coming our way.
Robert Miller, played by Richard Gere, is a filthy rich hedge-fund, big-shot. He is the man with everything: a loving wife, Ellen Miller, played by the lovely Susan Sarandon, a stay in a massive mansion, a beautiful family and a rather obsessive and cranky French mistress Julie, played by Laetitia Casta. On the outside, Miller seems rich, powerful, happy and comes across as someone who is ‘living the dream’, but, in reality, the world around him is crumbling. His mistress Julie throws a fit every time Miller is late to meet her. To make matters worse a few financial mishaps forces Miller to sell his company to Standard Bank, an acquisition that is taking time; time that Miller doesn’t have. Here is a man who needs to balance work, wife, family and a mistress. Things go awfully wrong when Miller and Julie are involved in a car crash that ends Julie’s life. Fearing his reputation will go down the drain and the acquisition might not go through, Miller flees the scene and calls an unlikely ‘acquaintance’ for help. Murphy’s law states, “What has to go wrong will go wrong”. Robert Miller was facing that situation; trouble was brewing and it seems there were too many breweries. Detective Michael Bryer, played by the awesome Tim Roth is hot on Miller and is convinced that Miller was driving the night Julie died. Knowing that he really can’t go after Miller easily, Bryer takes the easier route by tracking down the ‘acquaintance’ Jimmy Grant, played by Nate Parker. Miller pulls in all his contacts and gets Jimmy the best criminal lawyer to help Jimmy out. With this fiasco happening on one end and the acquisition happening on another, Miller is in the middle of what we all call “living hell”. With everything falling apart and things going haywire, Miller needs to keep his cool and use all his experience to set things straight!
The plot is pretty strong and is supported by some excellent acting and direction. The movie is pretty much centered around around Richard Gere. We don’t really get to see much of Susan Sarandon, but nonetheless, Susan Sarandon has played an excellent role. Tim Roth’s role was epic. He looked and acted every bit the nasty cop he portrayed. The climax was a bit of a let down though. It could have done with a little more drama, considering the rest of the movie is quite thrilling. But overall, hats off to the cast and crew of Arbitrage. A very handsome movie made indeed!
Verdict: A handsomely made movie, with some real good acting.
Director: Nicholas Jarecki
Cast: Richard Gere, Tim Roth, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling
Genre: Drama, Suspense, Thriller