#REVIEW: “THE BENEFACTOR”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Newly married and recently pregnant couple Olivia (Dakota Fanning) and Luke (Theo James of the Divergent series) are looking for help, and find it in her parents’ philanthropist friend Franny (Richard Gere). He does not ask anything for his assistance at first, but slowly begins meddling and weeding his way into their lives in the hope of reliving past glories while ignoring his current situation.
While it starts intriguingly enough, The Benefactor becomes a complete mess of ideas by the time it concludes 90-minutes later. The trailer suggests the Film is a Thriller, but does not feature any thrilling moments. Instead, we are given a completely inconsistent tone and an inability to focus on any one idea for longer than a few minutes at a time. The main crux is on Gere’s character and his emotional instability, but everything to do with Fanning and James seems almost superfluous.
Fanning and James do adequate jobs in their small roles, but the script does not ask much of either of them. Gere on the other hand, is downright stunning as Franny. His wealth is mysterious and his intentions are even more enigmatic, but he wears his reactions and feelings like a badge of honour. Where the script falters, Gere injects a breadth of emotional intimacy and strain unlike the majority of his older and much more popular work. He continues to redefine himself as an actor with various odd and offbeat roles, and his work in The Benefactor might be some of his strongest to date.
VVS Films release THE BENEFACTOR on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and Digital HD on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.