May 13, 2013

Capital (2012)

Capital (2012)
Directed by: Costa Gavras
Country: France

Review: Costa Gavras gives a crushing vision about greed and capitalism in his new political thriller “Capital”. Marc Tourneuil (Gad Elmaleh) is an unscrupulous and ambitious man who was designated CEO of a large European Bank. Regardless the fierce opposition of the board of directors, he will take control of everything in an obsessive way, trying to introduce a new ethic vision and attitude in the company. However, a fraudulent alliance with an American hedge fund will lead him to make dangerous moves, putting the entire company and its shareholders in jeopardy. Gavras uses every detail (maybe even in excess) to denounce the bad conduct, corruption, and opulence, associated to these money suckers. Sex and lust are also depicted through two eminent affairs that Marc will handle in opposite ways; one with Nassim, a provocative and greedy supermodel, and other with an honest and intelligent financial writer named Maud Baron. The notion of tax haven and the concept that money is the master, are pretty clear. Among its moral lessons, “Capital” is a cerebral exposure of socio-economical turbulences, adding a sort of ironic mockery that is entirely new in the filmmaker’s career. Although not totally unpredictable or balanced, and far from the supremacy of other times (“Z”, “State Of Siege”), we can still sense Gavras’ joy in denouncing the hypocrisy of capitalist domains.

1 comment:

  1. Several reviewers at IMDb have compared the subject matter to Oliver Stone's Wall Street. Both, it is true, have focused on the end game -- some would say the "last hurrah" -- of capitalism taken to the most obscene degree. But in my opinion Costa-Gavras does much better than Stone in telling a compelling story, in that the protagonist, played to understated perfection by Gad Elmaleh, carries the moral burden in such nuanced fashion. He is quite aware that the role of the banker today is that of Robin Hood in reverse -- robbing the poor to fatten the portfolios of the rich -- and, more than aware, shows here and there that the ethical dilemma of working against the general interests of society weighs on him, yet at the same time he is locked in, where he must play by the rules of the game or not play at all. In your review you write that the Costa-Gavras touch is "not totally unpredictable or balanced," in my view there was unpredictability aplenty, providing enough tension to carry the story to the quite unpredictable ending. As for not being "balanced," would you call "Z" or "State of Seige" or "Missing" balanced? What would a "balanced" treatment be? One in which the predatory capitalism that in quick order has allowed the term "99 percent" to gain traction so instantly as the defining catchphrase of our time to be shown in both its good and bad lights?


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