When you pick a movie, Margin Call, directed by a novice J.C. Chandor over a movie, War Horse, directed by powerhouse Spielberg, you know you are taking a gamble. It's a risk that if you are willing to take, you must prepared to face the consequences.
Margin Call is an agonising slow movie which tries its darnest (and failed its darnest) to dramatise the events happening in an investment firm preluding the 2008 financial crisis with uninspiring dialogues delivered by a mismatched cast of veteran actors (whose sizzle have faded with time) and unknown actors (whose actions seems forced and at times, even failed to realised they are in frame); with an out of focus plot that had retrenchment being the only blips on the Holter monitor; with a rocket scientist who fell for the cliche money trap instead of helping mankind devise a way to live on Mars; with a table of people who hadn't slept a single wink throughout the night and yet could think on their feet once the clock strikes 9am; with the only female executive taking the hackeyened fall when shit went wrong. Seriously, how does this movie even get slapped with a M18 rating in Singapore? Nothing's mature about this movie. So many things gone wrong - even an orange Kevin Spacey can't save it from crashing.
What would I do differently?
More scenes of desperation from the board when they know the music has "stopped", more moral contemplation from the board (yes, one may argue nobody in the finance industry has a heart, and therefore morals, but it's a movie, so one can try!), more pressure - instead of just using money - applied on Sam (Spacey) to make him do the "right thing" for the company, more crazy numbers being thrown around just for the sake of throwing numbers around in a show about money, more frantic selling by the floor to offload EVERYTHING they can and must, more discussion on the ramification their actions would bring about, and finally, more argument by Tuld (Irons) about this is just the way the world is and how money makes the world go round.
I saved the best trashing for the last - Spielberg's name is misspelled in the "Special Thanks" section of the closing credits. I gambled, I lost, I faced the consequences of 109 wasted minutes of my life.