MONEY [Raindance Film Festival]

PrintE-mail Written by Nigel Watson

The idea that money is the root of all evil is played out through five central characters in a minimalist box-like designer house, over a 24-hour period. The owners, Mark (Jesse Williams) and Sylvia (Jess Weixler) are having an evening meal with Mark’s friend and work colleague Sean (Jesse Williams) and his new girlfriend, Christina (Lucia Guerrero). On the surface it looks like a perfect middle-class existence, but we already know that Mark and Sean have secretly obtained $5 million in cash.

Sean is excited that they have successfully swindled their pharmaceutical company and wants to carry on with this criminal activity, whereas the more levelheaded Mark thinks they should stop now before things get out of control. These issues become academic when John (Jamie Bamber), claiming to be a new neighbour, inveigles his way to their dinner table. After initially charming the ladies he starts asking the men some probing questions about their work. It is not long before John shows he knows all about the $5 million and wants them to hand it over to him, otherwise he’ll cut off each of Sean’s fingers until they comply. So he’s certainly not a nice person.

Through this long night we discover how the different characters deal with this situation, and the artfully decorated and designed house in Long Island, New York, becomes a metaphor for our materialistic civilisation, which makes us desire and fight over money. Mark is forced to explain to his wife that he had to steal the money because all his investments had failed and they were facing bankruptcy. Sylvia is shocked and angry that he did all this ‘for her’.

Coke snorting Sean fights for the money to continue his hedonistic lifestyle. He is the least complex character, which is just as well since he had to leave filming when his real-life wife went into early labour. Christina is a fiery, impulsive, Spanish lady, who is quick to take advantage of the situation to line her own pockets. She is a born survivor who knows where her bread is buttered. Sylvia is the most sympathetic character, who is cultured and sophisticated, yet she now has to face the fact that she has been living in a glass bubble. She has to find the inner strength to escape her pointless existence. John, the catalyst for these events, is shrouded in mystery. We do not how he knows so much about their lives and the stolen money. Even at the end we are left to wonder who he is and what his true motivations were, was it all about the money, or is there more to life than that?

MONEY / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: MARTIN ROSETE / SCREENPLAY: JOSEP CIUTAT / STARRING: JESSE WILLIAMS, KELLAN LUTZ, JESS WEIXLER, JAMIE BAMBER, LUCIA GUERRERO, FREDRIC LEHNE / RELEASE DATE: UK RELEASE DATE TBA



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