Thursday, April 1, 2010

More Bean for Your Buck

By Traci Moore

The first thing you notice about Cash is that there is more Bean. More Bean on screen than any other time in my memory. And that, my friends, is a very good thing. Stephen Milburn Anderson chose wisely with his star for his quirky psychological thriller Cash opening next Friday April 9th. Sean Bean plays Pyke Kubic, a quiet, urbane, mannerly man who knows what he wants and knows how to get it. He’s been wronged, or rather, his brother has been wronged, and he sets out to find who took the money, to get back what he sees as rightfully his.

Taking a cue from today’s headlines, Sam and Leslie Phelan are in debt and underemployed failing to pay their mortgage for the last several months. On his way home, Sam (Chris Hemsworth of Star Trek and the upcoming Thor) drives under an overpass where a briefcase falls onto the hood of his car. Pulling over, his discovers it’s full of cash. A lot of cash. With no witnesses, he takes it home to his wife (Victoria Profeta) and they feel they have discovered the answer to their prayers and go on a spending spree. Meanwhile, Pyke arrives from London to visit his brother Reece in jail, who tells his brother that he threw the stolen money away to destroy the evidence of the heist. Before being stopped by police, he saw the case land on the hood of an old station wagon driven by a white guy. Pyke, a clever, calculating man, doesn’t take long in finding Sam and Leslie and sets out to take back what’s his.

Sean gets to play the juicy role of twins in Cash. I don’t understand why no other director has ever thought of before, given Bean’s considerable range. In fact, the scenes you see of him opposite himself are some of the most interesting in the film. The slight nuances that Bean is so damn good at. They’re there and it’s fun to spot them as you watch one slightly more Americanized twin speak with the more established Brit version.

Once Bean is in control, the scene is set into motion and the audience sees Sean do what he does best. We’ve all known that Bean plays a great villain, bristling with rage in films like Patriot Games, or smiling in smug superiority in Goldeneye, or cleverly conspiring in National Treasure; and just as easily he can put a turn in as the tragic but flawed hero Boromir in Lord of the Rings. With Cash, it’s his attention to detail, his impeccable manner of dress, his flawless manners and his charming demeanor that are... unsettling. He’s a nice guy, this Pyke Kubic. That is, unless you don’t do as he asks. And why wouldn't you do as he asks? If you’re Sam and Leslie Phelan, you’re the ones who are in the wrong here. And so begins the task of giving back Pyke the money they stole from him. Every single cent, down to the last penny. At one point Sam and Leslie say, “Can’t you give us a break on the rest? We don’t have it.” And Pyke answers, “Are you asking me to assume your debt? No, I won’t.” Hard to argue, that.

Stephen Milburn Anderson puts Stanley Milgram’s experiment into action; Pyke makes them steal, they’re too afraid to refuse, the more Sam and Leslie start to steal, the easier it starts to become which leads to something darker. “No consequences,” he warns, “until after a decision has been made.” It becomes clear in Cash that no one acts without having made a clear decision to do so first. This is where Cash makes you think. We are all where every decision has brought us to in life. Is it really possible to keep blaming everyone else for all your mistakes?

There is also something completely unexpected in Cash, a subtle use of comedy at which Sean excels. Deadpan humour laid with an undertone of seriousness that gives you a feeling that he has been waiting to play a part like this with judicious freedom for a long time. Go see Cash, have a great time with Bean onscreen for over 90 minutes and ponder all the possibilities.


  1. Interesting... now I am really looking forward to seeing the movie next week! Thanks for the review... its sounding like a great movie.

    Bean plays twins. Well that is a first! Double the leading man, double the fun. His acting is always enjoyable but seeing him play a variation on a theme will be interesting for sure.

    To hear that there is a subtle sense of humor to this heist makes it all that much more intriguing. I'm sure we will enjoy it!

  2. Terrific review Traci! I've wondered forever what CASH is about and now I finally know! It not only sounds like a great plot, but one that really makes you sit back and think, even after the movie has ended. Well done :)

  3. Great review! Sounds like an interesting plot and that the Bean successfully pulled it off, as always. I think it would be quite difficult to play two parts opposite each other, but it appears he did it beautifully

  4. thanks traci for your work, as you know, I like a lot sean, and the only think I hope is we can watch that movie in spain

  5. What a impressive review! This movie has an interesting plot full of suspense. Sean Bean is a versatile actor that can pull off any role.