TIFF Movie Review – Capital (2012)

Capital (French: Le Capital), 2012.

Directed by Costa-Gavras.

Starring Gabriel Byrne, Gad Elmaleh, Liya Kebede, Céline Sallette, Jordana DePaula, Hippolyte Girardot, Natacha Régnier, Bernard Le Coq and Paul Barrett.


The head a European investment bank attempts to stay in power while an American hedge fund attempts to buyout the company.

When the CEO of a European bank becomes ill he passes the executive reins to his protégé who suspects that he is merely a sacrificial pawn in a larger financial conspiracy. What the board members soon come to realize is that their puppet has every intention of holding onto his newfound position.

Complicating matters is a U.S. hedge fund led by Dittmar Rigule (Gabriel Byrne) which wants to gain control of the financial institution. Duplicity reigns supreme in the relationship between Rigule and the rookie CEO Marc Tourneuil (Gad Elmaleh); an intricate web of deceit is weaved by both men as they attempt to outwit one another. Marc unravels the takeout game plan which he subsequently tries to manipulate to his own advantage. The harder he tries to save his job, the more Tourneuil starts to emulate those scheming against him. The international settings such as Paris and New York City emphasize the global impact of the decisions being made. The crosscutting from the various storylines keeps the movie moving at a brisk pace. The shift from one scene to another is seamless and the cinematography is crisp and as luxurious as the subject matter.

Problems do exist. The supermodel subplot is superfluous while hardly any attention is paid to gap between Marc Tourneuil and his teenage son. The voice overs by the protagonist convey his inner thoughts more effectively than the daydreams where in his mind displays what he really wants to do. Movies with corporate villains could be a genre in itself with among the best being Blade Runner (1982) and Michael Clayton (2007). The trouble with Capital is that it does not bring something new to the table. Whereas being placed behind the financing dealings is intriguing, the intricacy in which it is presented makes the movie hard to follow. The characters are aloof and consequently an emotional connection is lacking between the performers and audience members. Even with the twist ending the social message gets lost in the routine nature of the storytelling.

Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★

Trevor Hogg

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