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Le Capital, a Comedy? (Movie Review)




Review by John Delia

Attempting to make capitalism a comedy the French movie Capital comes to the screen with a story that looks into the deep dark suspense of a world gone mad.  Using banks as the battleground, we are shown how even the slightest tilt in global finance can cause catastrophe.  Although the film is a fictional narrative, it could be more real than you think.

The story opens with Jack, the CEO of Phenix Bank of France, collapsing on the golf course.  Diagnosed with testicular cancer, he appoints his counselor and right had man Marc Tourneuil (Gad Elmaleh) to the dismay of his board of directors as his successor until he can recover.  Just a short time with the company, but a financial wizard with an acceptable image, Marc seems the perfect person for the job.

The position change is announced in the media and Marc settles into the position. Most persons would just lay back and be a puppet of the board, but Marc has a grander plan by which he hopes to profit big time. The film plays out showing the inner sanctum of banking and how decisions by the powerful European bank can affect the world’s monetary system. Writer/Director Costa-Gavras keeps his film light at first and then digs deep into the underbelly of greed and deception.

Gad Elmaleh as Marc Tourneuil in CAPITAL

Gad Elmaleh as Marc Tourneuil in CAPITAL

He holds nothing back using American ‘Cowboy Capitalism’ as a strong arm over the Bank of Phenix putting his main character in a spot right from the start of the film.  He manipulates his characters showing the ruthless dealings and the thin line that could crush the economy.  As Marc gets a little too manipulative however, he finds himself getting in over his head.

The acting is very good with Gad Elmaleh giving another good performance.  His career has been quite good with films like Priceless, La Rafle and Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris.  He uses the French off-beat style of comedy very good in Capital and shows his depth playing a Jewish father during the holocaust in La Rafle (The Roundup).  He reteams with Audrey Tautou for the film Mood Indigo now showing in France.

Capital has been rated R by the MPAA for sexual content, language and drug use.   You could call the film a dark comedy with a tongue in cheek warning about our capitalistic society and rightly so.  The film spools out in French with English subtitles and a segment in English.

FINAL ANALYSIS: An interesting view of our capitalistic society in jeopardy. (C )

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Gad Elmaleh, Gabriel Byrne and Liya Kebede
Written/Directed by: Costa-Gavras
Genre: Comedy, Drama
MPAA Rating: R     
Running Time: 1 hr 54 min    
Opening Date: November 2, 2013
Distributed by: Cohen Media Group

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