“Capital” by Costa Gavras / Toronto 2012 review

In yet another political and uncomfortably timely film, Costa Gavras trains his routinely cool eye on a story that hits a little too close too home.

What kind of person reaches the top of the corporate ladder in one of the biggest banks in Europe? What drives him and how does he rise through the ranks?

These are some of the questions Costa Gavras’ new film “Capital” attempts to answer, as he follows the story of a Phenix Bank executive and a confidant to the all-powerful president, who singles him out as next in line when it’s revealed he’s suffering from testicle cancer.

The board of directors will give their blessing, not because they have faith in his skills but because they consider him expendable and easily replaceable when the time is right. Only problem is, Marc Tourneuil is a lot more determined to hold on to his newly-acquired position than they though he would and perfectly capable of beating them at their own game.

Contrary to what you would expect from a film about the corporate banking world and financial sovereignty, the main character does not lack consciousness or reason, he’s simply determined to make as much money as possible in any way he knows how.
Because money is the only thing that can earn him respect and he doesn’t even have to spend it!

Gad Elmaleh in Costa Gavras’ “Capital”

Costa Gavras films his story like a suspense thriller – the thrills equaling bills – staging the action between luxury yachts and fabulous real estate and the main characters’ childhood bedroom, in the rare moments when he finds himself alone in his parents’ house.

Following his personal agonies, moments of doubt, the occasional wavering of faith and all the tantalizing temptations, while at the same time chronicling a battle of wills between the American capital and the fictitious European bank, “Capital” is not just the portrait of one man, it’s the portrait of an entire financial system.

The thing is that in this day and age, when nobody harbours any delusions about the real face of the baking system or the people behind it, “Capital” isn’t really saying anything we don’t already know, but Gavras’ cinema is as well calibrated, as satisfying and as necessary as ever.

Click here to read more about "Capital".

Check out the trailer below: