Thursday, 11 October 2012

Arbitrage: Movie Review

This will be the first time on this blog that I will be reviewing a movie.  Before you start to worry that I will be changing this blog into an entertainment log instead of purely a financial one have no fear - the only movies i will review are in much the same vein as the books I review - that is I will only review those with a strong financial theme or those that purport to be about finance.

Overview of arbitrage

With a name like 'arbitrage' i was hoping for great things like this movie...perhaps a look at the crazy things that happened during the GFC or the idea that you can borrow short and then lend long and earn risk free profits into eternity with the movie looking at the collapse of this system.

However it turned out that this movie had very little to do with finance even though the main character is a hedge fund manger.  The movie is actually a story of crises and how on deals with it.   The main character ( played by Richard Gere) seems to have the perfect life - he is rich, successful,has a great family ( and mistress to boot) and is selling his firm for millions of dollars to a competitor when he will be able to retire to a comfortable life.

The audience then sees cracks begin  to appear including the fact that he had cheated in his business by falsifying records and through other crooked business dealings, and he then is in a car cash which kills his mistress and threatens to ruin all his plans to save his business.

My take on this movie

This movie attempts to convey the message that
in the real world those with money play by a different set of rules and our sense of ‘justice’ and what is right or even karma may not apply in the rough world out there and that in real life justice is much more rough.  The problem with this film is that it is not subtle about conveying this point at all.  The inclusion of the poor kid who is the only 'good guy' in the film seemed a bit over the top to me

I'm guessing that this movie was made for people who believe in real life that the rich play by different set of rules and for those who are upset that those who caused the recent financial crises are not those who are suffering through it.  If this was all the movie was I would have truly hated it!  However the rough justice and issues of pride and corporate governance raised in the movie and why powerful people make the decisions that they do (i.e. pure self interest even if it is disguised as something else) - meant that i actually really liked this movie.

The ending is certainly not what you would call happy but that seems to be a fitting ending to a movie that is looking at the real world.

If you go and see this movie don't be expecting any great insight int the world of business.  That being said I still rather enjoyed it and would give it 3 out of 5 stars.

You May Also Be Interested In
Book Reviews - All
Book Review - The Big Short by Michael Lewis
Book Review - Damn it feels good to be a banker by Leveraged Sell Out

No comments:

Post a Comment