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GREED

★★

MOCKUMENTARY MISSES BOTH COMEDY AND SOCIAL COMMENTARY BEATS

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By Chris dos Santos
15th May 2020

Mockumentaries, when done right, not only serve as great comedy, but can spin audiences into a new perceptive. A golden cinematic mockumentary is rare, the most recent successful examples I can think of are 'What We Do In The Shadows' and 'Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping', but on TV the genre has always thrived - from 'The Office', 'Parks and Recreation', 'Modern Family', 'Summer Heights High', its an ever-growing list. 'Greed' not only hopes to charm with its British comedy but also what it presents as "deep" social commentary.

Sir Richard McCreadie (Steve Coogan, 'Stan & Ollie', 'The Trip to Spain') is a multi-billionaire in the retail fashion world. But his public image has been tarnished, so he comes up with the idea to throw himself a star-studded 60th birthday in Mykonos. Nick (David Mitchell, TV's 'Peep Show' and 'That Mitchell and Webb Look') has been roped into to produce a biography about the event and McCreadie's career.

'GREED' TRAILER

If you're a fan of other works that involve comedians like Coogan and Mitchell, this film will offer you a light chuckle - the comedy is fine (for the most part) and doesn't really have any standout moments, but it isn't unfunny. The biggest problem I found with this movie is while yes, of course it is poking fun at the rich, but then it also wants to have deep social comedy on the fashion industry's use of sweatshops.

This is an issue that should be discussed more, but this is a dumb comedy about wealthy people so you can't go from yelling about the colour fuchsia to the grim reality of a family member working in a sweatshop. While McCreadie isn't portrayed in a great light, the film never wants to paint him as the bad guy - plus the tone of the film doesn't blend the two sides together; it too stark a contrast. The film thinks it's being groundbreaking and shocking - the end credits have facts about the industry and how bad it is - but it just comes across as tonal dissonance. It's one thing to be a zany comedy, but paring that with sweatshop social commentary doesn't work as it's so disjointed from the main characters. The film stays very surface level with the issue, but still presents it as some kind of new insight.

If you're a fan of other works that involve comedians like Coogan and Mitchell, this film will offer you a light chuckle - the comedy is fine (for the most part) and doesn't really have any standout moments, but it isn't unfunny.

The film has other tonal issues too. There's a death towards the end of the film that tries to be so many things at once - emotional, gory, funny - and none of them land on any level.

'Greed' is a so-so comedy; I wouldn't say it's worth your time unless you're a fan of some of the actors. The comedy is surface-level fine; no one is bombing, but no one is succeeding. The film does stumble with its handling of sweatshops and the fashion industry, and that's more than enough to give this one a miss.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 44m
CAST: Steve Coogan
Asa Butterfield
Isla Fisher
Sophie Cookson
Shirley Henderson
Stephen Fry
David Mitchell
Sarah Solemani
Jamie Blackley
Shanina Shaik
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Michael Winterbottom
PRODUCERS: Damian Jones
Melissa Parmenter
SCORE: Harry Escott
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