Masterminds (2016) by Jared Hess: The dummy at the biggest bank heist in America

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Anirban Lahiri

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Masterminds, Movie Poster, Directed by Jared Hess
Masterminds (2016) By Jared Hess
Whenever I go to ATM, I look at the camera. Sometimes the camera is visible, other times it is just not there. I guess, all of us thought at some time or the other what if the ATM breaks open and all the cash come out in a flow? Most of us love stuff for free. One reason behind that is, most of us are exploited. Society appoints dedicated sentinel to look out for freeloaders. But, wage depends more on negotiation, than on productive labor This discrepancy between theory and practice leads to hankering after lottery, other forms of gambling, belief in luck, and dramatic crimes – drama means sudden, unpredictable, change. Everyone is conditioned to love dramatic change in fortune. Society conditions one to love it, yet, in formal terms, society condemns it. Society is hypocrite. In time, we learn to love this hypocrisy. We call that growing up.

Someone busted this hypocrisy in a nookie film. There had been a real event that had inspired this film, Masterminds.
David Practices shooting before the heist, Kelly looks on
David Practices shooting before the heist, Kelly looks on
Made in 2014, Masterminds receded to oblivion because the production company, Relativity media went bankrupt. There was no taker to distribute the film. Hence there was no marketing. Naturally, the film was shunned by the distribution partner Sony Pictures. The film became a ghost, something the whole industry fears
The comeback of Relativity, and the subsequent release of the film, makes a dramatic story in itself. This crime comedy, starring Zack Galifianakis (as David Ghantt), Kristen Wiig (as Kelly Campbell), Owen Wilson (as Steve), Mary Elizabeth Ellis (as Michelle) and Jason Sudeikis (as Mike McKinney, the contract killer), showcases one of the biggest cash delivery heist in American history. A man (David Ghantt) looted $17.3 millions in cash, form the armoured car of his employer company, Loomis Fargo. Three others were involved. David was sent to Mexico, with $50K, for a quick cover up, while the masterminds behind the affair – Steve, his wife Michelle and Kelly, David’s fatal crush, siphoned the money for their private enjoyment. Ghantt remained the foolish executioner, the scapegoat.

The whole affair had a comic touch that would be explored by the journalist Jeff DIamant in the book, Heist, later. Made in a naïve, indie, style by Jared Hess, the film banks largely upon Zack Galifianakis’ (who reminds me of Mayank Tiwari in Sulemani Keeda (2014)) fluent acting. Although there are overtones from slapstick, this film has a broader range to offer.
David and his accomplices stand before the private van loaded with cash
David and his accomplices stand before the private van loaded with cash
The heist practice sequence, rather a montage, looked cliché, reminding me of Johnny English (2003) and similar mock-flicks right from 1902.

Kelly stuffed David's undies with cubes of banknotes, for expenses in Mexico. That situation is unrealistic, and funny. The real David left the American soil with the officially sanctioned $50 grands only.

Reality exaggerated a little becomes art. The same reality aggrandized out of proportion becomes cartoon. This film hovers somewhere around these two.

A relishing affair to be enjoyed on the big screen, one must say! 

Rating: 4/10

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  


Masterminds (2016) Trailer

People who liked this also liked...
Share on Google Plus


Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing for valuable opinion. We would be delighted to have you back.