Margin Call (2011)

“Brainstorm people! We need to think of even more ways we can make this film seem serious and intense..”

Initially one of the most impressive things about this film are Zachary Quinto’s perfectly trimmed eyebrows but.. Money is a serious business, and losing money is very serious indeed, particularly when it’s the whole economy that could be at stake. That’s what’s happening here. Kevin Spacey plays an assets manager who has just been told his finance firm is on shaky ground and must liquidate all it’s assets immediately, potentially throwing the market into chaos in the process.

Margin Call starts off in a dramatic way when one of the workers, Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto), discovers a serious problem with the company’s trading figures, and from here the tension is gradually ramped up as various supervisors and managers are called.  You are introduced to the next boss up and then the next formidable boss and then finally to the big boss John Tuld (Jeremy Irons) who is made out to be some kind of financial godfather. At this point the the film has nowhere else to go with it’s tension, which had been constantly increasing up to that point. This tension is always there, which is a mistake since you start to be become desensitized to it.

The film is simply unable to make you care that much about the fate of the rich kid workers and as for the economy, it seems a distant threat and I didn’t feel absorbed enough to forget I was watching a film, which meant I didn’t really care.

An impressive cast but just not good enough to communicate the human-effect and seriousness of it’s central concept. 4/10


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