Published on May 13th, 2016 | by Don Guillory0
Growing up, whenever a political or economic scandal was featured on the news, my father would utter the words, “Follow the money.” This phrase was made famous by “Deep Throat” during the Watergate scandal that eventually brought down the Nixon Administration. In the film Money Monster which stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts, this is a question that we start to ask ourselves as a financial investment show is taken captive by a disgruntled investor while it is airing live.
Clooney, who serves as the show’s host, quickly finds himself in the middle of a storm of tension and deception as he and his captor try to discover what happened to over $800 million in investments. The film itself is sufficient as an overview for satisfying our need for some sense of understanding at how corrupt and unstable the financial industry can be. Through much of the film, I found myself wondering about how many people wanted these same answers in 2008 during the financial market meltdowns and the collapse of the housing markets. The film approaches this anger that hit the American working class, but do not delve deeper than the superficial issues and discontent. There is a major lack of depth and this might be a metaphor for the industry itself that is built on confusion, misdirection, and a lack of substance. The plot is simplistic and does not allow for any surprises or twists.
It is a very straightforward movie where a flawed character wants answers. He wants closure. He wants to bring to justice the people who ruined the lives of countless Americans and took advantage of their desire to experience the American Dream. Despite the lack of complexity and a few holes in the storytelling, Money Monster provides a few laughs and leaves the audience asking questions about how deep the problems and corruption may be within our financial system nearly 8 years after the collapse. It makes us want to “follow the money” in the hopes that we will find answers.