Arbitrage 3/4….a movie review

September 27, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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With a title like Arbitrage, it’s reasonable to expect a story that navigates the byzantine labyrinth of the world’s financial systems – perhaps a better companion piece to Wall Street than Money Never Sleeps…writes James Berardinelli.

However, although there is a little of that, Arbitrage is actually a fairly straightforward thriller in the John Grisham vein. It doesn’t demand that the viewer know the difference between a hedge fund and a hedgehog. Arbitrage also reminds us that thrillers do not have to be action-packed to generate tension.

In the wake of the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, hedge fund managers have become easy targets for demonization. Arbitrage uses this public perception to its advantage and counterbalances it by having Richard Gere, who normally plays sympathetic characters, as the rapacious lead, Robert Miller. Miller embodies all that is good and bad about a man in his position. On the one hand, he’s a loving father, tireless worker, and seems genuinely concerned about protecting the life’s savings of his investors. On the other hand, he’s a philanderer, liar, and has committed fraud on a massive scale. Paging Bernie Madoff. But the chickens are about to come home to roost.

 

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