Jul 23, 2011

The Company Men

The Company Men, 2010
Director: John Wells
Cast: Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones

Stage: Home theatre

The Company Men in short: When the GTX Corporation must cut jobs to improve the company's balance sheet during the 2010 recession, thousands of employees will take the hit, like Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck). Bobby learns the real life consequences of not having a job. Not only does he see a change to his family lifestyle, and the loss of his home, but also his feelings of self-worth.

Preps. A recommendation from someone whose opinion means a big deal to me. Apart from that, not a clue what this is about.

Reality. Surprise number one: the cast. Before playing it, unaware of great names in this piece. And a splendid act from them, indeed. Throughout the movie, the roles are joint equally and noone is stepping really out of the crowd. In sense of this movie, this is quite remarkable step forward for the director. Because we are following some aligned stories where there isn't really a place for one hero. We need several.

Second surprise - the topic. So real and so in place nowadays. The recession taking its toll, in its best appearance. Making a lot of middle settled people poor through the night. And making a lot of families fall apart, people undertaking depression, drowning in alcohol. Making a point of holding a position you have right now is not a sure thing. And that you need to think a bit in advance. Or perhaps a campaign from insurance companies, so they gain more business in these uncertain times? For US teritory, I could see this also behind the scenes. Nevertheless, I am convinced, that the inspiration for the piece came from the times we are facing now and a part of this is similar to WW2 movies - to remember for the future reference, what to expect if this happens.

Affleck turning from a rich guy to a poor guy that misplaces his tie for a handy set of tools - I found it brilliant. Also the optimistic point (which is of course a sense of romance of Hollywood - where you just don't leave the main protagonist die as an ox on field); that the work of "others" - in sense of normal handycraft men, is not only money making, but also to be proud of. I was positively surprised to see Costner again, the role of the chief in craft suits him very well. Also the side effect of the brother that earns more, but with a decent job - I loved it. On the other hand, taking some paths through the merciless world of business is remarkable. Jones plays a great role in this, making us realize that the system is bad, capital oriented, and doesn't care about commitment, people and trust. The only thing it trusts, is profit. Kind of scenery in the Wall Street.

My personal rate: 8,0
(a good recession analysis on US - will make you shiver for your own position ;) - well, at least will make you consider your lucky stars)

The Company Men on IMDB

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