Director – George Nolfi
Distribution – Anthony McKee, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult, Nia Long
Two black men in the secluded United States have used legal harassment, devilish intelligence and old-fashioned deception to do more to unite their country than most lawmakers. In the 1950s and 1960s, Bernard Garrett and Joe Morris promised to buy property only in white neighborhoods and then sell it to blacks, secretly dismantling the country’s unjust social order.
The second Apple TV + Original film, The Banker, has a much stronger resonance than the first, rather tender, parish drama Hala. With an excellent cast, led by Anthony McKee and Samuel L. Jackson, the misleading and biased title of the film is unnecessary, as The Banker is an excellent entertainer with a heart on the tongue.
Watch the trailer of The Banker here.
It is a solid film, and although there are two excellent graduates of Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is exactly the kind of film that Martin Scorsese no longer considers to be made because of the dominance of superhero cinema. Curiously, the industry has seen the revival of dramatic films like The Banker, where films like Ford vs. Ferrari and Little Women so well have been included in the theaters.
But a banker’s success is not measured by income. It will rather depend on the intensity with which millions of people currently in quarantine feel the need to be controlled.
Some of these people can really live in the ghetto. At some point in their lives, they may have experienced discrimination based on their religion, marital status, sexual orientation or any of the many other ways in which people try to erect barriers between them. And that makes the story of Garrett and Morris even more relevant today, even in a country like ours, where homeowners and taxi drivers are known to profile people before doing business with them.
To enable the blacks to film the American dream, the silent Garrett (Mackie) and the arrogant Morris (Jackson) have devised a plan that is hard to believe to be true. They started buying banks filled with money from whites to spend the same money as loans to blacks who wanted to move up the social ladder.
We can’t get into the bank if we don’t help. Morris is absolutely right to tell Garrett in a scene. And to solve this problem, the duo came up with a plan that reminded me of Black Klan man Spike Lee and, rather unexpectedly, Hosle Ka Gosle Dibacar Banerjee. They convince a white colleague, played by the charming Nicholas Hoult, to pretend to be the face of his company. As the famous Ron Stollworth John David Washington in Black Klansman said: With the right white man, you can do anything.
And just like Bapu de Hosla Ka Gosla, the young Max Steiner undergoes a complete Ma belle lady treatment, including math lessons and an emergency golf course. These are some of the best moments of the film, and this is where the alchemy between his trio of protagonists shines the most.
It’s great to see Mackie play a character who, in a way, probably helped create a world in which a black actor could one day play the role of Captain America. Jackson has remained true to his role as always and inspires the audience almost alone in the story. The real Joe Morris is probably little present in his interpretation – like most of his characters in the film, Morris is probably a version of the actor himself – but he is in a way the beauty of Samuel L. Jackson.
Directed by George Nolphy, who had already worked with Mackey on the fantastic and monumental discreet pearl of the Adjustment Bureau, the story is told in a straightforward Eastwood style that leaves nothing to be desired. In some cases, the exaggerated tone of the film seems a bit inappropriate, given the very real difficulties black Americans were facing at the time (only off screen). In the romantic world of banking, there is no time for tragedies.
But on the other hand, when you look at this original on an Apple device, you probably don’t think of the sweatshop where it was made.
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