Arbitrage (2012)

I know-I know, the fact that today is the final day to finish my paper and most of my content is awaiting to be written, my blogging might become harmful. Yet, I wanted to put down this shorter review just as when the movie is fresh and get my fingers ready for some more extensive typing about sustainability and innovation. Yesterday, when my main task was also to study, I ended up watching Arbitrage instead. I can see a dangerous pattern forming here.

Actually, I don’t have much to say about this movie because it’s that type of movie that just can’t be discussed endlessly like Looper, I actually saw the trailer for Arbitrage in the cinema before Looper started! This was probably a conscious connection I made in my head: saw Looper – loved it, saw Arbitrage’s trailer – must watch it now. Sadly, the latter didn’t even come close to the former, it did have 50% of the awesomeness until the very end and I just got super disappointed and degraded it to only  2 points and I just wasn’t impressed. All in all, I’m actually happy I watched it because I haven’t really seen mediocre movies lately and I think I need to fill the void asap.

Arbitrage is a drama-thriller which brings back a lot of memories. Those have nothing to do with the movie itself, but with the fact that this is my mom’s favorite genre and when I was younger, it were probably the drama-thrillers that we all watched the most as a family. Mom enjoying every minute, dad pretending he’s stupid and doesn’t understand nothing (as a kid I thought he was seriously not getting it but now I get the subtle sarcasm) and me just casually going all red when a “surprising” sex scene appeared on the screen. Needless to say, I like the genre but I find it very difficult to watch alone since I’m used to my mom next to me, either discussing the murderer or the casual handsomeness of the leading male. All these emotions came afloat when I watched Arbitrage but none of these actually applied to the movie itself, sad but true, Arbitrage tries to be a thrilling story but just ends up flat and as grey as Richard Gere’s hair.

That sounded a bit rude so I’m going to take back the Gere part because I actually like the man, he seems very nice and I have nothing against his acting. A perfect portrayal of a mediocre role in a mediocre movie, this is probably the best way to describe Gere’s role as Robert Miller. Same goes for Tim Roth, oh my, Roth as detective Michael Bryer was the best thing in this movie because it reminded me of how much I love his voice. Haven’t seen Roth in a while because I stopped watching Lie to Me even though I was able to do his impression to scare my roommate (I doubt you are reading this on your own but I will probably make you – so, hello!). Roth has a lot of new things coming up so I’m thrilled to say at least, he has the most interesting take on characters and I was surprised of how the roles in Arbitrage were switched.

Gere portrays the bad guy and Roth the good guy, despite the fact that Gere seems much more like a hero and Roth like a criminal. When talking about characters, to be honest, I didn’t see myself connecting to the them so I just basically ended up liking the actors instead. That probably was my main issue with the movie, I didn’t get as much as I wanted from the story to be invested and mostly because the writing wasn’t as amazing as it could have been. Thrillers for me need an element of mystery, although it seems to be a different genre on IMDb, I at least need to be thrilled and mystified, but all Arbitrage’s best moments were in the beginning. After that, the plot fell short of what I was looking for, maybe it was too by the book and safe in a way.

I did like one line from the movie which made me laugh because it felt so true: “You are just under suspicion.” “Under suspicion? Motherfucker, I’m black!” – if this is not a perfect line, I don’t know what is because this just had so much irony and feelings. Anyway, this was probably the most memorable moment and although the beginning had a bit of excitement the end just crushed that. All that for nothing? What a disappointment with a capital D – and I know it might be personal but as a movie lover, I do wish more movies surprised me, rather than make me sigh. Tim Roth was good though, I really like him and I’m thinking of watching The Four Rooms again – he’s such a character in that. Plus, who could say no to Tarantino’s short movie with Bruce Willis – probably nobody!

 

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6 thoughts on “Arbitrage (2012)”

  1. Great post! That line you mentioned is indeed hilarious. I haven’t seen the movie yet, it doesn’t look like anything thrilling but I like Tim Roth a lot so I may give it a chance. Four Rooms is such a fun movie!

    1. It was the “gem” and maybe the so called introduction to the movie was also good, the build-up and all but yes, downhill for me from there.
      Roth is amazing! Four Rooms fourth room is brilliant!

  2. Good review Ray. It’s a flick that could have been a whole lot better, in my opinion, but is definitely heightened by one of Gere’s better performances we’ve seen from him. I’ve never really liked the guy, but he’s okay here, and that’s all that mattered to me.

    1. Yeah, and yet, he wasn’t as good as he could have been if the character was better written. Or, not so much the character, the plot! I disliked the end too much to like it more than I did.

  3. Definitely had a good build-up but then was a let down after that. Felt unfinished and unpolished probably why it had a major push on-demand (where I watched it). I don’t think it was in any cinemas near me.

    Gere won a Golden Globe :S

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