A Patriarch’s Cover-up
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DIRECTOR: Nicholas Jarecki
CAST: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling
Richard Gere does the high-flying corporate look proud and for most of its time, Arbitrage really belongs with him there. A film about the growing desperation of a high-flyer done in by changing times and the need to keep up appearances, about the book juggling that sustains the media buzz, about the dinner meetings and lawyer deals that keep him afloat, and about the untouchability that comes with money.
However, as it nears the end, perhaps eager to prove its heart lies in the right place and not with the big, bad greedy corporates, Arbitrage takes on a righteous high ground that isn't faithful to the steely and hard-fought conviction that Richard Gere brings to his role.
He is Robert Miller, a hedge fund manager who repeatedly refers to himself proudly as the "oracle". He has become legendary as legendaries go in a celebrity-driven media for making some fairly prescient bets on losing causes. However, all is not well. He is broke and about to be exposed unless a merger he is pressing for goes ahead. The other party is taking its time making up its mind, which Miller can ill afford.
Just as things couldn't be more wrong professionally, on the personal front, he is having a fling with a new French artist who has been throwing tantrums about him not spending enough time with her. Miller, who is married to a loving wife (Sarandon) and has two grown-up children working in his firm, suggests a getaway. Given the upcoming merger and what is at stake, that's a big risk by Miller. However, Miller and his mistress Julie have an accident on the way and she dies on the spot.
Miller realises that if the news gets out, it isn't just his family that would be destroyed but the merger he has been working on. And so begins an elaborate cover-up, starting with "Jimmy" whom he calls for help. Jimmy is the son of the black driver who had served Miller faithfully till the end.
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