Equity (2016) – movie review

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EquityMovie Review by EDF

Starring: Anna Gunn, James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas, Alysia Reiner
Director: Meera Menon

There have been a few financial / Wall Street movies over the years; Wall Street, The Wolf Of Wall Street and The Big Short being some of the more famous ones. What these and other movies have in common is that the main protagonists have been male. Now here comes EQUITY, where the main characters are female but at every turn, they are reminded that they live in a man’s world and in some cases, act accordingly.

Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn) is an investment banker with an impeccable record. When an underperforming IPO causes her to miss out on a promotion, the news that this is not her year to advance is not the first time she has heard this. Regardless, Bishop also tries to secure a promotion for her deputy Erin Manning (Sarah Megan Thomas) but this is also denied. Bishop knows that she needs to put all of her energy into making the next IPO into a complete success or her employer might feel she is not up for what is essentially a younger persons market.

Bishop turns to the British tech firm Cachet, whose owner Ed (Samuel Roukin) believes that he can provide what other tech companies cannot provide; privacy. Bishop is taken in by their portfolio and takes on their IPO. Meanwhile Bishop is being investigated by Samantha (Alysia Reiner) who works for the attorney’s office security fraud department. Samantha has been asked to look into Bishop’s relationship with Michael Connor (James Purefoy), a banker who will try anything to weasel any information from Bishop. With everyone trying to catch her out, will Naomi Bishop make this latest IPO a success and gain that promotion she deserves?

While this is a refreshing twist on a Wall Street story where sisters seem to be doing it for themselves, unfortunately they are not. The big letdown is the script where you don’t feel any sympathy for Naomi Bishop when things do not go the way she would like them to. Even though we are following Naomi Bishop as the A story, the B story revolving around Samantha makes her the more interesting character to follow. That is not to say that Anna Gunn underperforms here but she is not serviced with a well written character. At times, she seems pathetic with all the running around she has to do to squash rumours that would damage her IPO or dodge the knives her work colleagues, friends and lover have out for her. The men are not even served well by the script and come off as one dimensional and heartless. Some of the direction and editing were also jarring and at best a step below in quality against some of the great drama shows that are currently on television. EQUITY has a couple of great performances from Anna Gunn and Alysia Reiner in what is essentially an underwhelming movie.

3 out of 6 stars