Easy MoneyFeature Film |
Gritty Swedish crime drama gets by on atmosphere and colorful character turns.
Director Daniél Espinosa's Easy Money is an effective, gritty thriller, but it never achieves the depth and resonance it strives for. Like Espinosa's first Hollywood feature, Safe House, this earlier film demonstrates a stylistic fluency, and skill with actors. There are ostensibly three interwoven narratives here, but the only one given any real weight is that of JW (Joel Kinnaman of The Killing), a working class grad student who stumbles into the drug trade as a way of paying for his jetsetter lifestyle. Jorge (Matias Padin Varela) has just escaped from prison, and has the connections to make a big cocaine deal. Mrado (Dragomir Mrsic) is Serbian mob muscle, and a gruff but caring father. Mrado is beating Jorge to death to get information about the coke deal when JW rescues Jorge. Deals are made, and money starts coming in, but JW is unprepared for the ruthlessness, paranoia, and violence of his chosen profession. Maria Karlsson's script, based on a popular Swedish novel by Jens Lapidus, intriguingly blends class, ethnic, and business differences in building to an inevitable bloody showdown, but the plot is a bit muddled. One of Espinosa's strengths is in casting, as the fascinating faces and strong performances of actors Varela, Mrsic, and, as a rat in JW's crew, Fares Fares, attest. But the film's focus on JW's agog response to the horrors of the drug trade (who knew?) weakens its overall power. He's obviously meant to be an audience surrogate, but he seems impossibly naïve for someone so clever.
|Easy Money Trailer|