Review: Greed (15)

Isabel Ellis lets us in what she liked and disliked about new comedy Greed (15)

Isabel Ellis
24th February 2020
Image: IMDB
Michael Winterbottom’s newest comedic endeavour Greed is a tale of the richer getting richer matched with the vengeance of capitalism. Following the rags (somewhat) to riches story of self-made billionaire Sir Richard McCreadie (Steve Coogan) and his inevitable financial downfall, Greed highlights how truly immoral the richest of the rich can be.

Steve Coogan donning a fake tan that would put Trump to shame and emulsion-white false gnashers portrays the billionaire in a wholly satirical manner but still left me questioning do I love him or loathe him? Through numerous flashbacks and insertions of boarding school tropes that seemingly British films can’t fail to go without, McCreadie’s character is faced with million-pound bankruptcy and tasked with planning his exuberant 60th Birthday in Greece after a very public embarrassment.

 It seems as though big budgets were set on getting a star-studded cast as opposed to a five-star film

As the name does indeed suggest, Coogan’s vulgar character is labelled “Greedy McCreadie” and to be honest, it really does seem as though the camera is firmly placed upon solely him. Boasting as star-studded cast such as Isla Fisher playing the fashion tycoons tax avoiding ex-wife Samantha McCredie and Asa Butterfield as the classic stroppy teen son, Finn, it does disappointingly seem that they are slightly left in the shadows. This is where I believe the films downfall comes into play. With numerous differing plot lines, it did become a little confusing and half-hearted when it came to expanding the character development of the supporting roles. With pitter-patters of famous cameos from the likes of Stephen Fry, James Blunt and the late Caroline Flack, it seems as though big budgets were set on getting a star-studded cast as opposed to a five-star film.

McCreadie, who is an obvious comparison to that of Topshop creator Sir Philip Green, highlights the problematic gung-ho attitude towards fast fashion production but does slightly seem to fall short at really attempting to create a film that has substance. The satirical narrative of the film does add light comic relief to the tackling of tough content but also slightly takes away from the films true meaning. When I arrived at the credits, I was inundated with statistics of third world poverty and I was left wondering what the point of the film really was?

What we can truly not ignore is that Winter-Bottom’s directive vision attempts to shine light on modern day issues of the time. The film ploughed forward topics such as the refugee crisis in Greece and the exploitation of factory workers in developing countries and to that I must applaud. Although the film is obviously centred around McCreadie, it highlights injustices that have been arguably pushed aside by ‘larger’ causes such as the extinction rebellion and the climate crisis.

Overall, this isn’t one I’ll be necessarily be sticking on every Christmas but is nevertheless a funny and warm-hearted film that won’t fail to make me giggle when I inevitably re-watch.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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