Like an Opticians Appointment
A shout-out to my good friend Charlie, who paid for my ticket, and gave me a lift home. You’re too kind to me!
I think this is the first time that I have completed a three-day streak. Lucky me! Although running on coffee fumes, juggling the Picks with coursework and revision, it feels good.
Despite my apparent lack of time, I somehow found some more, and went to see the movie Focus, after a delicious and discounted meal at Zizzi’s and an awkward moment of not having enough money to buy the ticket… that was also discount. What can I say? I’m a cheapskate.
I always like the movies with the con-artist. It gives the writer a big basis to create some clever, unique ways of how he operates, while creating a potentially great story-line. Did Focus do that? Let’s find out.
LET’S GET THE PLOT DONE…
Will Smith plays expert con-artist Nicky Spurgeon, who one day bumps into Margot Robbie, playing Jess Barrett. After trying to con him, and realising just who he is, she wishes to learn from the best. But what happens after the job’s over? And is Jess affecting Nicky’s focus; the thing that he values more than any skill he’s gained?
And did I like the cons? Well, there are two major jobs in this movie: one in New Orleans while a professional football game takes place, and another is in Buenos Aires surrounding a secret formula to burn fuel efficiently in motorsports. The first one wasn’t per-say original, but was fun to watch how it was all set up, and while the second one had a simpler-than-it-seems con, it is again fun to watch everything unravel to the audience. Plus, there are a lot of minor cons that take place, which is great; because if I’m watching con-artists, I want to see them do simple things like pick-pocketing and breaking into credit cards, which I did. The cons are believable, yet fun and unique. So all ticks so far.
Nicky and Jess have a great chemistry, especially since you don’t know whether there is sincerity, or just simple allure and charm at play. The dialogue is a lot of “banter” between characters. Personally, I liked their bickering and charming charisma, but it really depends on what kind of person you are. Although Adrian Martinez as Farhad is definitely worth mentioning. He’s like the friend in your group that constantly makes tasteless jokes, yet you end up laughing anyway because you like the person anyway, in a sort of lovable Labrador sense when it wees on the floor and you can’t be mad because… I mean come on, look at it, it’s adorable.
But on the other side of things, we get some bad points. Now I’m not just saying my next point to be intentionally punny, but for a movie called Focus, it isn’t really… well… focussed. The plot twists and turns quite a bit, and the pacing goes from as tense as Kayne West around paparazzi to as slow as a weighted snail. The constant shifting of focus to different characters, places, and relationship statuses of the two leads. Hence the title, because it’s like having glasses fitted at an optician’s: it’s dizzying, strange, and makes you a little nauseous.
There were a few plot-holes to be seen as well. To break out of my review for a second: Charlie, it was the other guy’s watch. I checked. But to jump right back in, I would rather say “questionable writing” than plot-holes. The plot is good (if a bit jumpy), but things like why Farhad was in Buenos Aires, and why sell a real product when you have an alternative that seems like the real product anyway (probably saving them from an angry Brazilian later on). Little things like that need to be ironed out.
SO I GUESS IN CONCLUSION…
A good movie, with a good cast, good plot, and good cinematography. However, be careful not to lose focus, Focus, because some plot work needed to be done. If paced out, smoothing out the dynamics of each scene, this would have been fantastic.
(Just to say, quotes from new releases might not be as good due to the shortage of choice.