Greed Review – Inviting, A Front Row Seat for the Ultra Luxurious Lifestyle

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Greed, from Sony Picture Classics, presents an ultramodern tale of extravagance, a behind the velvet rope, inner circle entry to the front row of London's fashion world and the over-the-top lifestyle that goes along with creating the brand.

Directed by Michael Winterbottom Greed stars Steve Coogan, Isla Fisher, Shirley Henderson, Sophie Cookson, Asa Butterfield, David Mitchell, Shanina Shaik, Sarah Solemani and Stephen Fry.

The film begins at a pinnacle moment in the life of High Street fashion king, Sir Richard McCreadie, played by Steve Coogan. The jewel in the crown of his fashion empire, Monda, is marking a banner year and he is sharing the wealth as he hands out the bonus checks in true supersize fashion.

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Celebrating with his wife, Samantha, played by Isla Fisher, who is also the recipient of the largest bonus. Life in the London's fashion empire is good, very good. From this moment we travel back in time to when life was not always so good.

McCreadie is a hustler. Fate forced him to learn at a young age, since the death of his father which left his family strapped for cash, how to maneuver and manipulate in order to achieve his goals. His mother, played by Shirley Henderson, refuses to allow him to leave the private school he attended, and soon he is hustling his classmates and moving upward.

As we are told, "He was always his own man." Even in the early days of his fashion empire, when after a case of retail shock, he decides he can do it bigger, better and more importantly cheaper and make a whopping profit. Hustling the sweat shop owners in Sri Lanka, soon he was in business.

From this point McCreadie is hustling, building a fashion empire one failed business and brand at a time. With each failure, he roars back, opening a bigger, more exclusive, brand until he creates the jewel in his crown, Monda.

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As Monda becomes the darling of High Street, McCreadie becomes the unacceptable face of capitalism. He is investigated, targeted, plotted against, all by those who are trying to figure out how this nobody, from nowhere, with nothing, transformed his life and became the untouchable king, ruling the world of fashion with a billion dollar fortune.

We meet Nick, played by David Mitchell, who is chronicling Sir Richard's life. In order to present a complete biography, Nick spends hours reviewing his life and finds the man, who lives the big image, has become the brand, is also the target of financial investigation, has developed a system that pays himself and is able to move the majority of it to Monaco and live the life, the dream, the behind the velvet rope, guaranteed entry, big yachts, fast cars and high rollers. The unending spoons of caviar and free flowing champagne life, the life of champions.

For the past year, he has been planning along with Kathy, played by Sarah Solemani, his 60th Birthday party on the Greek Island of Mykonos. In genuine bountiful and extravagant style, he is planning the party to end all parties.

Greed, for a lack of a better cliché, is good. It is very good. I really enjoyed this film. The story unfolds with many elements of truism, facts that seem to layer the lives of many of the uber wealthy and the acting is authentic.

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The locations are phenomenal and the cinematography on Mykonos and Monaco is magnificent. As the film ends, and many will want to slip out, it is important to stay and watch the statistics that roll with the final credits. It is shocking that conditions for garment workers even the best shops in Sri Lanka are less than $3.00 per day. Woman are the backbone of the garment industry and slave labor and sweat shops even in our socially conscious global world are still very much the norm.

The statistics reveal more about the world than one would like to know and yet change comes through recognizing there is a problem. Greed is a genuine indictment on the current state of wealth distribution, pretense, celebrity endorsement, truth, tolerance, and rationalizations.

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Greed, as it presents the inviting ultra-excess life, luxury and the trappings of wealth, the offshore and tax havens around the world, and is essentially an indictment against those who are working to break the backs of the most vulnerable, is very entertaining.

Live the big life for a couple of hours and see this film.

Greed opens February 28, 2020. See it.

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