History Movies

The Banker, American finance in the days of racism – REVIEW

The Banker is the new Apple TV + movie, a compelling story of the great American financial explosion in the days of racism

After a troubled path marked by accusations of harassment towards a person linked to the true story behind this film, The Banker is finally available from yesterday on the Apple TV + platform. Apple’s first highly anticipated cinematic test on the small screen comes with a film that puts on the plate a high profile production and a cast of those typical of great occasions.

The film directed by George Nolfi, as a producer and screenwriter of the same, features a decidedly appreciable product that confirms once again the goodness of the Apple service, always attentive to the quality of its original productions. The Banker tells a true story where the American dream of the 50s returns to be the protagonist of a story steeped in prejudice and pain, set in a historical period still sadly imbued with that racial prejudice towards the African American community that film history has repeatedly told in other thick productions.

That damned American dream

The Banker takes us on a journey to America in the 1950s in a world, the business world, which is still the object of strong resentment towards the African American people. In this climate stained by racial prejudice, two entrepreneurs of African American origin, Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), decide to put their great skill on the field to acquire several real estate properties. The strong resentment towards blacks leads the two to rely on Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), a white figurehead, to carry on their business and create their own real estate empire. The couple, however, decided to go further by aiming to acquire a bank in order to encourage lending to the American community, a strong sign of protest against a system designed to encourage only white people on an entrepreneurial level. Between complex algebraic formulas and tight negotiations, the couple will transform Matt from a totally inexperienced figure in financial matters to an unscrupulous businessman who will be the face of a trio destined to make history not only in financial terms but also in terms of social struggles, a theme always very dear to the company from Cupertino.

Narration is certainly the strong point of Apple’s production, which relies on a narrative nightmare with tight rhythms but always capable of keeping the viewer’s attention alive; this rhythm sometimes lends its side to some moments that could lead the viewer to experience a small sense of disorientation, stunned by the large amount of notions and technicalities typical of the banking world. This feeling, however, is mitigated by a convincing construction of the plot capable of taking the viewer by the hand in the most excited moments, helping him to always find the edge of the skein, but not leaving space to the most distracted and carefree spectator who could get lost a little on the street and find the way back with greater difficulty. The Banker is certainly not a film for all palates but it is certainly a vision that leaves the right state of satisfaction to the most enterprising spectator, who is not satisfied with the monotony of many modern cinema productions.

Perhaps not fully convinced is the little emotional charge contained in an ending that puts finance more in the background to deliver us a social battle for equal rights, a theme that tends to be more appreciated if supported by a narrative capable of involving the spectator in terms of emotion at the highest levels. In this respect, we would have expected greater impact from this work which still deserves a positive overall judgment and which marks a good debut by Apple TV + also for what concerns the macro category of films.

A first class production

Apple TV + has always been well accustomed to us in terms of production and also The Banker retains the typical enamel of a construction subject to precise planning and construction, which finds in the cast and in the script two key elements that contribute to the success of the work general. Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson are confirmed, as far as needed, actors of great thickness always capable of descending in their respective parts with great mastery of their role and the right incisiveness necessary to tell the great charisma of two faces that have made American history for the great determination in achieving its goal with determination and sagacity.

Once again photography and scenography accompany the vision in a convincing way, projecting the viewer into the historical era with great fidelity. The always excellent technical quality of the Apple TV + content is once again one of the most appreciable aspects of the entire work which, despite the announced reduction of the bitrate to favor the decongestion of the networks suffering due to the heavy traffic in these days of crisis from Covid-19, offers a decidedly remarkable glance on TVs equipped with support for Dolby Vision technology. There is also a soundtrack to support, by H. Scott Salinas, curated and always well contextualized both for the choice of musical themes and for the great ability to favor the immersion of the spectator in the historical period treated.

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