Saturday, September 17, 2016

Equity (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway


Director Meera Menon (Farah Goes Bang) puts a gender spin on a Wall Street themed film. Although "Equity" highlights the solid acting talents of Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) in a scaly role, the story doesn't really go anywhere provocative beyond its panelled walls.

Naomi (Anna Gunn) is an investment banker recuperating from a failed company aquisition. She soon gets word of a controversial tech stock Cachet, run by a hoodie wearing Ed (Samuel Roukin) in a role clearly patterned from Mark Zuckerberg. Suffice to say, Naomi finds herself against the wall with a sneaky Samantha (the producer Alysia Reiner), an old friend turned prosecutor.

Things also become knotty when Naomi's deputy Erin (Sarah Megan Thomas) is snubbed. To top it off, there is the boozy and leering hedge-fund maestro, Michael Connor (James Purefoy)  who would sell his mother for a million, but appears passive under Naomi's iron will.

The plot is secondary to the point of the film which is that women, if they so choose, can be just as monstrous as men. This premise is refreshing and original; the cinematic history of Wall Street has been invariably geared to a testosterone bull market. Instead of explicit carnage, we get alot of dialogue and catty quips with intent glances befitting a soap. For the most part, the intrigue is a screen grab of Oliver Stone's "Wall Street" with Naomi mimicking the legendary Gordon Gekko. There is the same ice sloshing in glasses, the same skittish eyes and sweating foreheads.

Where the film hits though is in its style: dark, tinted and clearly inspired by David Fincher. Greed has no gender and men are largely inconsequential. The point is well taken, yet such an original turn begs for more vermilion blood to be spilled ala Elizabeth Bathory in the banker's arena.

The best of the film is Reiner who in one excellent bar scene portrays a wolf in She clothing with melting looks and lupine eyes. This segment full of stealth, power and meaning is almost enough to save "Equity" from its carbon-copy design.

Write Ian at

No comments: