“You take their focus, you can get whatever you want.”
With these lines, the pace of the film is set. Focus is one of those rare indulgences, that you know you can allow yourself once in a while. And hey, it’s totally worth it. It’s not one of the best con movies in recent years, but it does have a charm to it that is difficult to shake off.
Will Smith is Nicky, a seasoned con artist who takes Jess (Margot Robbie) under his wings and trains her to be better at the trade. What follows is a series of events, one of which gets both of them in trouble. That is pretty much what the movie is about. It has a linear style of storytelling. No unnecessary structuring. Plain and simple. But there are also enough suspense-filled twists and turns to leave you going, “Whaaa!”
There’s not much that can be detailed here without giving away massive spoilers. This movie is best enjoyed with your buddies at the theatres. It also has a recall value which is very rare these days. Though the story isn’t as great as other con movies like Catch Me if You Can and the Ocean’s series, there is a likability to it. This is mainly due to the charismatic performances by its leads, Will Smith and Margot Robbie. After a long hiatus and a slew of flops, Smith is back in form and wins you over with his superb performance. But there are scenes where Robbie outshines her experienced co-star. Only a few movies old, the Australian beauty proves that she can deliver the goods. Gerald McRaney also gets to join in some of the witty banter and does not disappoint.
The “focus” remains on our two leads for most parts. Who is conning whom is the crux of the plot, and there are some really good scenes to back that up. Unfortunately, the film starts coming apart in the second act, with crazy reveals in the third act that you kind of see coming. It is almost as if there are two separate movies shot over two different time periods that have been put together for the heck of it. But the intrigue keeps you going. A special shout-out to the stellar camera work and the brilliant costume design is also in order. This film is classy, suave and smart for most parts. Go watch it this weekend and you won’t regret it.
Why should you watch this film?
Focus is definitely a bang for your buck. There is no doubt that you will enjoy the sneaky cons and the terrific camaraderie between the leads. The final act of the movie could have been tighter but take my word for it, you will want to watch it again.