Money Monster review: It’s payback time

  • Rashid Irani, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 14, 2016 14:40 IST
The first half of Money Monster has a fitting edginess eased by dollops of deft humour, but the second half collapses in a heap of cops-versus-‘criminal’ clichés.

Money Monster
Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell
Director: Jodie Foster
Rating: 3/5

He knows how to put on a show. But the host for a financial news programme on television is thrust into an unfamiliar situation when a young man barges onto the set brandishing a gun.

Multiple Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster’s fourth directing credit, which premiered at the Cannes film festival earlier this week, isn’t as fully realised as it could have been, but watching George Clooney and Julia Roberts strive to resolve the crisis does get the viewer’s adrenaline going.

Read: Clooney, Roberts and Foster in pictures at Cannes

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Roberts portrays the hands-on producer determined to uncover the shady financial dealings that led to the hostage imbroglio. Throughout their ordeal, she communicates with the Wall Street pundit (Clooney) only through his earphone.

Meanwhile, the armed intruder (up-and- coming British actor Jack O’Connell), who lost all his savings on a stock market tip doled out by the so-called guru, is no longer interested in being reimbursed for his losses.

Rather, he insists that the fat cat (Dominic West) responsible for the predicament of investors like himself tender an unconditional apology.

Watch: Trailer of Money Monster

A slightly edgy Network-like tone permeates the film, which at times feels just right and at other times feels off. Director Foster leavens the fraught proceedings with dollops of deft humour. But the latter half of the rollercoaster narrative comes crashing down in a heap of cops-versus-‘criminal’ clichés.

Read: Quite a few firsts as Jodie Foster’s Money Monster premieres out-of-contest at Cannes

The script attempts to take an unblinking look at wheeler-dealers who come under the spell of get-rich-quick schemes, never mind the high cost that blue-collar shareholders might have to bear. A patina of bland glibness smothers the conclusion of this tale of innocence, corruption and barely earned redemption.

Ultimately, it’s the robust performances of the three leads that set Money Matters apart from the rest of the pack of hostage thrillers.

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