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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

All you need to know about... Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Movie: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Director: Alex Gibney
Writer: Alex Gibney
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Website: www.enronmovie.com
Characters: (all portraying themselves)
Ken Lay
Jeff Skilling
Andy Fastow
Lou Pai
Sherron Watkins
Bethany McLean, Fortune Magazine (co-author, The Smartest Guys in the Room)
Peter Elkind (co-author, The Smartest Guys in the Room)

Plot: This is the inside story of one of history's greatest business scandals, in which top executives of America's 7th largest company walked away with over one billion dollars while investors and employees lost everything.

Comments: I indulged in a guilty pleasure last night and snuck off to a movie by myself. No one seemed particularly enthused about seeing this film, but I was intrigued, having heard bits and pieces about the scandal over the last few years.

Now this was a documentary! Not any of this heavy-handed Michael Moore crap that feels like you’re being hit over the head with a shovel... (don’t get me wrong – love the Michael Moore, but he’s got the subtlety of Emily Gilmourit always feels like you’re watching a mockumentary). Anyhow, back to Enron… walking out of the film, I was following two suits – older, mid-40’s types that probably had Jags and VP titles themselves. Their discussion as we walked out were on the same page as my thoughts… it’s happening again as we speak. And will continue to happen.

It was breathtaking how the filmmaker used “Kenny Boy” and daredevil Jeff’s own words to mold a film that showed greed, hubris and deceit, the likes of which I’d never imagined. I really enjoyed the audio clips of the traders who ultimately became a personality in the film. The cutbacks to Bethany McLean of Fortune Magazine – the writer who initiated the interest in Enron’s cooked books – and co-author Peter Elkind, contributed greatly to the overall flow of the film. This was a great film.

There was no question that Ken and Jeff (it seemed to me that the doc really portrayed Jeff as the ringmaster of evil… Although Ken was never out of the shot, Jeff seemed like more of a leader than Ken) were the bad guys. Furthermore, most of us are familiar with the elements of the Enron story. What this documentary gave me was a painstakingly drawn picture of how these people exploited a system that they helped fill with loopholes, bled the everyday worker to the point that they hung up their own morals and spun non-existent money around until they finally got caught. It was excruciating, exciting and infuriating. I loved it.

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 12:41 PM :: 1 Comments:

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