Posted by Alia Haddad on August 3, 2012 at 9:30 am
Daniel Espinosa’s Swedish film, Easy Money, is the type of movie you want to be really fun to watch. You know those films: incredibly violent and riddled with anticipation yet endlessly entertaining (think The Dark Knight, The Departed, or even Straw Dogs). And given that Easy Money boasted to us Americans that Martin Scorsese executive produced this picture, you could see where I could have that hope.Well if you’re as naive as me, and are expecting unabashed fun from this movie with words (as Charlie calls foreign films in The Perks of Being a Wallflower), let me tell you now that Easy Money is no such thing. While Easy Money was a good movie, it was hardly, if not at all, fun.
Not to be confused with the 1980′s American film starring Rodney Dangerfield and Joe Pesci, Espinosa’s Easy Money and the one that I happen to be reviewing, starring Joel Kinnaman, Matias Varela, Dragomir Mrsic, and Lisa Henni, is about an amateur drug runner who, while trying to maintain a double life, becomes intrinsically tied to two men on different sides of the same drug deal. Sounds complicated? Well, that’s because it in fact is complicated.
Nevertheless a complicated plot never hurt anybody, or rather, any film, and the same holds true in Easy Money’s case. After getting over the fact that I wasn’t in store for a fun time, I became very interested in the plot and movie as it was unfolding, and while the movie was not a fun one, it would be a lie if I told you that it wasn’t captivating.
While I could tell you about how good the acting was (it really was) or how realistic the dialogue seemed (so realistic) or even how the scenes were nicely framed (way to go on the cinematography front, Sweden), I think I was most intrigued by the way violence was handled. Rather, Easy Money is a nice example of a movie that would definitely have idealized violence if made in The States (think The Dark Knight, The Departed, or even Straw Dogs), but I think in large part due to the fact that it is a Swedish film the violence and its repercussions felt real not only to the viewer but also to the main character, who even by the end of the film never truly came to terms with it.
Money, drugs, and double lives aside, Easy Money leaves the viewer with a seemingly realistic portrait of violence and the arbitrary roads it takes.