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When the CEO of France's Phenix Bank collapses on the golf course, Machiavellian young executive Marc Tourneuil is crowned as his replacement. A whirlwind of ruthless ambition, power struggles, greed and deception ensues as Tourneuil's brutal ascent is jeopardized by a hostile takeover attempt from a large American hedge fund led by Dittmar Rigule, erotic distractions from international supermodel Nassim, and adversaries with an agenda for destruction.Written by
Cohen Media Group
When the CEO of France's Phenix Bank collapses on the golf course, a young bank executive, (Gad Elmaleh) becomes a temporary CEO. He'd like to be permanent, but he realizes right away that there is a very different agenda in play.
An American hedge fund leader, Dittmar Rigule (Gabriel Byrne) is calling the shots and wants Phenix to purchase a worthless Japanese company, for one thing. If he does this, Phenix becomes worthless and the Americans can buy it for next to nothing.
That's just one of his problems. His enemies attempt to distract him using a gorgeous model (Liya Kebede), whom he chases around the world.
Elmaleh plays an antihero who is just as bad as everyone else with his wheeling and dealing, ambition, and disregard for the lives of others. He tells the stockholders that he is like Robin Hood, robbing from the poor to make the rich richer. It's what they all do. It's all a game, he tells someone at the end, and they're all children. They'll have fun until it all goes wrong. Meanwhile he travels, stays in the best places, and cheats on his wife.
I read a few critiques of this, that it's too light and should have been darker. But it's based on "Das Kapital" by Karl Marx and works in Marx's ideas. Some of it seems caricatured and clichéd, but it's really just drawing on an ideology put forth by Marx and Mao Tse Tung.
Like all of these corporation/banking films and documentaries, it's depressing. Last night I saw a film called "Common" where a woman's son is killed. She is getting money, but not in time to bury him, so she tries to borrow it from a bank. She can't. No, she can't, but everyone just piled money on Enron when they had nothing but dummy corporations and no product. Just threw money at them.
I have to think, as Costa-Gravas seems to, that someday this will all go amuck, though in some situations, it already has -- the housing industry, Enron, Bernie Maddock, reported to the SEC countless times, but no one could be bothered to do anything about it -- and on and on. I don't have any answers. Well, I do, actually. The answer is Greed.
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