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I went away for my birthday, and I rented this film on my iPad for 99p to watch on the plane.
Richard Gere plays Robert Miller, a billionaire who seems to have everything. A flourishing hedge-fund, the perfect wife and family and now he is ready to sell up and rest on his mountains of cash and be a family man.
However, all is not as it seems as he is in dire financial straits and really wants to sell the company to cover an investment loss of around $412 million. He has borrowed the money from a friend to cover up the holes in his account until the sale comes through.
Whilst he has the lovely wife Susan Sarandon at home, he is having an affair with a French artist called Julie. After missing her show, he goes to her apartment late one night to apologise, and offers to run away with her. Unfortunately he falls asleep at the wheel and the car crashes. Whilst he manages to escape relatively unharmed, Julie is trapped in the car which catches fire and she dies.
With his family and his business hanging by a thread, Miller has to do all he can to evade police suspicions he was the driver, and also speed up the sale of his hedge fund, before an audit reveals that the balance has been doctored. So much stress and so little time....
The film looked really good and like it had so much potential and so I was so disappointed at the outcome when it ended.
Richard Gere put on a stellar performance and is utterly convincing in his plight as a man trying to hold his life together when all seems to be going wrong. He is strong and believable; however, the lighting and probably the makeup just made him look so old. He didn't match his characters ability at all!
The downfall of the film is the thin plot line that is never resolved and leaves so many unanswered questions the film barely makes sense. The main antagonist is the detective who knows he was the driver, and is set upon pinning the crime down to him. Gere uses a payphone to call a kid from Harlem to come pick him up from near the crime scene. Evidence shows his car being driven through a toll booth which is apparently “proof” that he was involved. However this is shown to be manufactured evidence, the entire case is thrown out the window. It all feels too anti-climatic, very rushed and with no explanation as to what follows on.
By the time the film ended I was just left feeling really dissatisfied and uninterested so I wouldn't really recommend it. I like a real drama/thriller/crime film but this just didn't fit any of the criteria as it jumped around too much and the ending was too abrupt to make sense.
Business magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is about to sell his hedge fund in order to hide his company's losses and evade arrest for fraud, but when he enters a car crash killing his mistress, he flees. As the investigation proceeds, the truth begins to unravel, with the consequences affecting both his wife (Susan Sarandon) and daughter (Brit Marling).
The film took a while to get started, but once all the pieces were in place, it was a tense and riveting feature, aided greatly by the sound track. The dilemna that Robert faces, the risk of both public and private scrutiny, drives him to dangerous decisions. Will his business deal go through before the truth is revealed?
Though slightly long, the movie was enjoyable and whilst Miller was a kind of villain, you do root for him and hope he makes it through. The style of the movie was slick and edgy, with a deep moody feel. Thematically, the ideas of family, money, publicity and deception create a realm of depth in this world of power and money. I guess the key element is about public image and the facade that is trying to be up-kept.
One criticism I have is the abrupt ending which felt incomplete. Left open ended to interpretation, it ultimately lacks conviction. What is the movie trying to say?
Richard Gere- Robert Miller
Susan Sarandon- Ellen Miller
Brit Marling- Brooke Miller
Tim Roth- Det. Michael Bryer
Nominated for a Golden Globe, Richard Gere is perfect for this role and definitely shines in this villainesque role. Supported by the stunning Susan Sarandon and rising star Brit Marling, performances are strong all around.
'Arbitrage' is a strong thriller that has flair, with good performances by Richard Gere and well supported by Susan Sarandon and Brit Marling. Despite the abrupt ending, it has strong themes and was filmed stylishly that makes this a gripping and enjoyable movie.