Friday, December 21, 2012

Arbitrage: My movie of the year

In a year where I am hard pressed to pick worthy Oscar contenders and where Ben Affleck 'Argo'is a shoo in for an award, I nominate 'Arbitrage' for movie of the year.

Give Richard Gere, the Oscar for best Actor already.

Who knew Richard Gere had stuff still in him for a movie turn like that he has put out  in for 'Arbitrage'?.

I will make it simple. The movie is about a hedge fund investor, who is adored by the American public and is on the cover of Forbes. However this is all a facade.

Trouble is he has made one major bad judgement by betting on a Russian copper mine and as search has stretched himself thin  financially enough to need a friend to pitch in $400 million to plug the hole in the books till he can sell his firm to a bank and pay back the loan.

That seems the least of his worries when his mistress is accidentally killed in an accident in which he is the driver. He desperately toils to keep the strings that bind his life together from unraveling. Eager to keep this news from flowing out as he is on the eve of a multi-million dollar sale of his company. He treads the path of a financial philanderer,criminal fugitive and family outcast. Its utterly amazing how the Richard Gere character manages to keep all the  various parts of his world together under the most intense pressures.

Given the enduring global financial crisis and the 2008 meltdown, the movie clearly takes a dig at Wall street excesses, financial impropriety, 'cooking the books' in the investment world and the facade that is the public image of ultra success. This is  clearly a morality tale in the frame of 'Changing Lanes',and 'Wallstreet'.

Without torturing you with financial and investment- world jargon, 'Arbitrage' is very accessible to the ordinary viewer.

It is hard to believe the movie is directed by a first-time director.

For me, 'Arbitrage' is the best movie I have seen this year and I have seen a couple of them this year.

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