Money is a funny thing. We all need it to survive, but it has the potential to turn us into heartless creatures that can only see the bottom line.
In the new film, Money Monster, Lee Gates (George Clooney) is a Jim Cramer-esque financial journalist who is the host of a financial news program, Money Monster. Directed by Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts), they have a professional chemistry that for most of the film is heard, but not seen as they communicate through the television screen and an earpiece.
Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) is like the rest of us. An ordinary guy is just barely getting by, he feels frustrated by the lack of control he has over his life and finances. Needing to make a statement, he pretends to be a delivery guy to get onto the Money Monster set. Holding Lee hostage, Jack only wants answers as to why he has lost all of his money.
The only person who can answer the question is Walt Camby (Dominic West), the CEO of a financial firm that has lost 800 million dollars. But Walt cannot be found and the only person who can provide an answer is Diane Lester (Caitriona Balfe), the company’s CFO.
The film starts out a little slow, but when it picks up steam, it really picks up steam. At first, the audience sympathizes with Lee and Patty, as the victims of a madman. But as the narrative rolls on, it is not just Lee and Patty who are the victims, but Kyle and the millions of Americans whose money and lives are in the hands of a few who may or may not use their knowledge and resources for personal gain.
As a thriller, the narrative is taught and suspenseful, revealing a side of American life and economics that few acknowledge and even fewer understand. For this reason alone, I absolutely recommend it.