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"We take money from the poor and give it to the rich"

19 January 2013 / 21:01:12  GRReporter
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Famous director of political movies and films focused on social problems, Costas-Gavras, this time directed a film about money and its power. Dimitra Yanakou reviewed the movie for

His latest movie is called ''Capital'' and it expresses serious criticism against the shameless capitalism of the modern era and the cruel cynical world of the economy. Just like the movies ''Ζ'', ''The Confession'', ''Amen'' or ''Missing'', his new film also depicts a reality filled with cynicism, amorality and cruel strategies including violation of human rights. The filmmaker was inspired by the book of the same name by Stephen Osmand, a former Trotskyite and long-time part of the managerial staff of a bank. The book deprecates vehemently various forms of capitalism and its title refers to Karl Marx's book of the same name. "Both cases regard money and its accumulation, i.e. capital," says the director.

Through the story of a rising banker who advances into power thanks to a fortuitous event, the director finds an opportunity to blame the irreparable damage which the pursuit of money and insatiable desire for its multiplication cause, even at the cost of treading on corpses.

Marc Tourneuil (Gad Elmaleh) is a relatively young bank employee who is disturbingly ambitious and not afraid to sacrifice his family and values in order to rise professionally and gain as much money as possible. Specialised in preventive management, when he becomes president of a French bank, he will fundamentally change the rules of the (pseudo) professional ethics and will try to "update" the company, taking great risks and making deals with the other large players of the economy ... He will even make a decision on the dismissal of a large number of employees in order to increase the bank's capital and competitiveness.

Avoiding entering into technical details that would exhaust viewers, Costas-Gavras shows the current economic system in a simple way, like a game, where all involved are obsessed with a sick desire for increased profits and power. We see how Marc Tourneuil opposes those who want to confront him and develops in situations that are sometimes eccentric, sometimes loaded with suspense. Although he knows well how catastrophic his actions can be, he continues impetuously, driven by thirst for domination.

"The main character lives in reality, although he has a sense of reality," says the director. Prior to making the movie ''Capital'', he studied the modern world of economy, interacted with bankers and tried to understand their way of thinking.

Gad Elmaleh, who plays the role of the main protagonist, is a comedian, known from various comedies that are enjoying a great success. Costas-Gavras did not hesitate, however, to offer him the role, like the previous time, when he trusted to big comedian Jack Lemmon and gave him the tragic role in ''Missing''. Gad Elmaleh used the opportunity and proved his skills in playing dramatic roles, too.

With simple directing, no special camera effects or change of the optical angle, the director created a document on the modern era of crisis that has eroded everything. Even the children in the film play solitarily, enclosed in the virtual world of video games that companies made modern in order to gain millions by selling them.

Everything said so far is summarised in the famous phrase with which the film ends: "We collect money from the poor, because they are more, and give it to the rich."

Gad Elmaleh, Gabriel Byrne, Natacha Régnier, Céline Sallette, Hippolyte Girardot are some of the actors starring in the film. The movie is presented by Odeon.

Tags: Costas-Gavras Capital Gad Elmaleh film
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