Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Margin Call (2011)

Rating: 7.1/10

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat." 

I happened to stumble on this film whilst I was watching the Independent Film Spirit Awards 2012, when Zachary Quinto introduced this film as a collective work among the cast and crew and the effort it took for this project to take off.

Personally I went in with limited expectations, knowing that as an Indie film I should expect the new 'Wall Street' phenomenon. What it did intrigue me though it was indeed the collaborative work among the cast. A high profile swarm of actors such as Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Stanley Tucci and world-class thespian Jeremy Irons make for a challenging project to try to avoid not watching.

The story talks about a "respected financial company is downsizing and one of the victims is the risk management division head, who was working on a major analysis just when he was let go. His protégé completes the study late into the night and then frantically calls his colleagues in about the company's financial disaster he has discovered. What follows is a long night of panicked double checking and double dealing as the senior management prepare to do whatever it takes to mitigate the debacle to come even as the handful of conscientious comrades find themselves dragged along into the unethical abyss." (

The story may not be the most andrenaline-based story-line ever, but it possesses some features which extricate the talents of newly come actors, such as Zachary Quinto (Heroes, American Horror Story), who was also one of the producers of the film, and Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl).

The true element that elevates this film is the time-span of the story-line. Due to the fact that the plot takes place for about a time-span of about 12 hours, this film is very character-based, giving the viewer a variety of glimpses into the psyche and mannerisms of each character. Moments of quite desperation, of frantic realizations and shocking corruption.

Demi Moore's come back role, as the bitchy high-rank analyst is a well-sowed implentation to the story, as it gives you that realistic edge of the corporate high street of the man-made business of Manhattan and the limited room it has for a female partnership into a billion-dollar corporation.

With Kevin Spacey to a yet-again-selling-my-soul-to-the-devil-for-money this story takes on a different dynamic as to how and what a corporate head would feel in a very perplexing and corrupted situation.

This story makes it real if you let yourself think of the high-end stakes that were involved in a company like this at the beginning of the 2008 crisis. The direction albeit it plain and with no great gimmicks of glitz to offer, does present a more humane side of things into the character's background.

Albeit it very well advertised and with a solid effort to make its way into the Indie film line, this film will not offer so many thrills as one would expect, but a more of an in-depth aspect of what might have gone down to a number of companies out there during the economical crisis.

Watch it if you find an interest to see an aspect of the economical crisis of 2008.

Hope you enjoy the film!

Margin Call (2011)

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