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Steve Coogan – Sir Richard McCreadie
Isla Fisher – Samantha McCreadie
David Mitchell – Nick
Shirley Henderson – Margaret
Asa Butterfield – Finn
Sarah Solemani – Melanie
Ollie Locke – Fabian
Sophie Cookson – Lily
Dinita Gohil – Amanda
Jesus, what an utter mess of names this is! As I sat watching Greed I couldn’t tell if this was cast based purely on who the producers thought were captivating enough to deliver the story – or just to showcase a number of British actors in order to to rejuvenate their careers (think I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! – but in movie format).
The exotic filming locations used in this movie are a nice touch, whisking city-dwelling viewers away to golden sands and roaring ocean. Of course, non-city dwellers will also enjoy the backing. But its the constant horde of actors that give Greed its relentless vibe. The opening, the middle, the ending, there are people bloody everywhere, covering all corners of every area on set during the build-up to the high-street fashion mogul’s birthday bash.
This movie has the gritty documentary feel to it, with the viewer being taken on a ride along the coast of Mykonos. The camera crew filming the lead character’s movements are always present so there’s a live buzz about it, but this also means a lot of pausing – chatting on and off cam – and re-takes. And a shitload of swearing. Alongside all this is a Made in Chelsea-type thing that is also being filmed on the island, so Greed seems to become one giant satirical reality show. This is where it becomes egotistic and tedious, vastly different from the scenes which show Richard in his earlier business days.
I have to say, though this film is more an explosion of celebrity culture than story, Coogan gives a fantastic performance throughout. His delivery of lines and comic timing are perfectly tuned, the bluntness never stops. Especially the scenes portraying his rise to success; they are so harshly hilarious – mainly him stood roasting the staff of his fashion outlets. Breath after breath his acid-tongue reduces every victim to a speechless wreck. It makes a fantastic watch and highlights Coogan’s comedic abilities. Top marks here.
Greed is a ‘half and half’ film. Other than its celebrity shit storm, it does contain some decent comedy which stems from its portrayal of the growth of a businessman. And this is worth a watch purely for its use of shocking behaviour. It doesn’t pull any punches – and neither does the actor playing him. But at the same time you’re just watching a billionaire go about preparation for his birthday party whilst strolling along beaches. It’s definitely not a story you’ll become intrigued by or even give a shit about to be honest, as there’s so very little substance to the plot. And in actual fact, the main characters are despicable.
As with most films, stick it on and give it a go. Just don’t expect pure brilliance (Greed got 48% on Rotten Tomatoes for a reason). This is basically a bunch of ‘names’ wrapped in flapping kaftan and getting bronzed on a Greek island. And the ending.. so ridiculous you’ll probably switch it off before last few lines are spoken.
It’ll fill 103 minutes of an evening. And those few minutes of Coogan putting people down in a shouty sweary manner are worth every second. Enjoy this, forget the rest.