A generally underrated film, admittedly not always easy to follow in its voyage through the rarefied reaches of high finance and merchant banking, discovering conspiracy and murder along the way, with the fate of the entire Western economy hanging in the balance. Disconcerting in its kaleidoscopic shifts in tone, it's nevertheless too absorbing simply to dismiss. Matching gamesmanship with gamesmanship as his financiers elaborate on their abstruse gambits in incomprehensible computer-speak, what Pakula seems to be trying to demonstrate - with the final confrontation suggesting a standoff between two gunfighters, stalemated because the villain proves able to justify his villainy - is that the complex power plays of international finance constitute an entirely new genre with which the old ones arrayed here (film noir, romantic comedy, political exposé, Western) are ill-equipped to cope. It's a fascinating experiment, well worth seeing anyway as another of Pakula's marvellous evocations of urban paranoia.
Cast and crew
|Director:||Alan J Pakula|