TWO REVIEWS: THE GREATEST and WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS
Anything which strikes me as unusual interests me and thus when I saw two Hollywood movies, one last Thursday and the other yesterday (both not out of serious intention; one was because I chanced on it on my flight from Singapore to Dubai and the other because we just happened to be in the vicinity of where the movie was being screened), it prompted me to analyze further. Curiously enough, both the movies featured the same female artistes, Susan Sarandon and Carey Mulligan. The third coincidence is what I will write about in the end of this review! That is what has led me to write about these two Hollywood movies (the only other Hollywood production that I had reviewed in the past was AVATAR).
I had heard of the sequel to the classic WALL STREET which was under production and like millions of others was floored by the brilliance of the 1987 movie which featured Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen and the unforgettable line uttered by Gordon Gekko: Greed is Good. Perhaps the alliteration in Gordon, Gekko, Greed and Good added to create the magical effect! It was therefore no surprise that we did not hesitate to get into the theatre when we found ourselves in the vicinity of where the sequel to this classic was being screened. Directed by Oliver Stone who had directed the 1987 production, WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS is a big let-down. The story which begins after Gordon (once again played by Michael Douglas in yet another remarkable portrayal, despite his throat cancer) is freed from jail somehow does not quite grip the viewer despite the relevance of the theme of the bursting of bubble of financial engineering. The trouble is that unlike in the earlier 1987 film, Oliver Stone has tried to incorporate other themes as well and it appears to me as though he was not quite sure of whether the money game script alone was making as much of a dramatic impact as it did in the 1987 film. This also leads to the movie’s length getting stretched to an extent where I could sense some boredom creeping in. The only Ah! factor was in the scene where one of the victims of the financial assault walks on the platform pushing people aside and …. Of course the movie also stars Susan Sarandon in a tiny role and the talented young Carey Mulligan in a less inconsequential role, but if you want to recall how Eli Wallach of Mackenna’s Gold and The Good, Bad and Ugly looks now, watch this movie for his sterling performance in a three scene role!
Contrastingly, THE GREATEST came with no great expectations and gripped me from beginning to end. Pierce Brosnan whose image is unshakably merged with that of James Bond, puts a splendid performance in the role of a father who is torn between the grief of having lost his son in an accident and the fragile relationship with his wife (once again, superbly played by Susan Sarandon) who is unwilling to come to terms with the reality and Rose, the son’s lover (excellent enactment by Carey Mulligan) who comes into their lives to heal and be healed, but instead causes more cracks in the family. The movie is short, a good tear-jerker and I will be happy to learn from the viewers as to why this movie was thus titled!
And do you think it is unusual that I saw two Hollywood movies on successive Thursdays ( I average one Hollywood production in a month), both of them had Susan Sarandon and Cray Mulligan and in both the movies, Carey played the role of an unwed mother?