Starring: Kevin Spacey, Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci
Director: J.C. Chandor
Running Time: 107 mins
Margin Call is an American film about a young employee at a big financial firm that discovers from a recently laid-off employee’s reports that the company is about to go into economic meltdown at the beginning of the global financial crisis.
Well, this is an interesting film, but way too complex and melodramatic to be a genuinely pulsating thriller. It’s an in-depth tale of the days before the global financial crisis in 2008, and in one respect, that’s fascinating, however on the other hand, it’s filled with incomprehensible financial jargon coupled with a story that just doesn’t fit the thrilling atmosphere this film is going for.
To start with, there’s no doubting that this is an unpredictable film. From the start, the sense of chaos that emerges is clear, and the way that that grows throughout heightens the excitement of it all as the problems become more and more evident and more and more people begin to worry.
That exciting aspect is all helped by some pretty strong performances, particularly by Kevin Spacey, Zachary Quinto and Stanley Tucci, who add perfectly to the realism of this story, and it’s those brutal and realistic characteristics that they show on screen that really make this a more engrossing film to watch.
However, whilst this is definitely an interesting film, it doesn’t work in the way that it’s set out. From the beginning, there’s this odd sense of uneasiness which to some extent mirrors the financial uncertainty, but also awkwardly makes the film feel like some sort of heavy psychological thriller.
But when you discover that no one is in real danger, and it’s just a company going down the toilet, there’s much less to really care about and be unnerved by as the film attempts to do with its increasingly eerie atmosphere, something that makes this a little bit more of an awkward watch throughout.
However, the worst problem by a mile is that this is a pretty inaccessible film for people who aren’t really that interested in economics and finance. It’s filled with all sorts of jargon that is frequently next to incomprehensible, and the emphasis on a good understanding of that is pretty heavy, meaning that at some of the more intense discussion periods, this can get pretty confusing to watch, leaving it often just not as captivating as it could be if it were a simpler thriller.
Overall, this gets a 6.7, because despite its decent performances and fair degree of excitement, this is often an overly complex film with a very confused atmosphere.