david prown 120It was probably a good 8+ weeks ago that I saw a glowing review about the new film "Equity" on joanellis.com that really caught my eye. The subsequent previews further nurtured my interest in seeing this film.

Stars "Anna Gunn" who I don't know at all along with some other actors I recognize but didn't really know. This allowed me to focus exclusively on the film not get caught up at all in tying an actor to a prior film or role.

I think I'm a pretty smart guy but investment/Wall St.-wise, all my/our money plans are remarkably basic. Hence, in other high finance films like "Margin Call", "Big Short" or even "Boiler Room", the investment products discussed, sold, strategized, combined with the lingo is way over my head. In fact, often it discourages me about the film as I'm trying to figure things out in my head (while the movie moves along and I get further behind).

No doubt I got confused a bit on the financial product being handled in this film and the jargon, but clearly less so than those previous films. At the end of the day, if was about bringing a private company public (IPO - initial private offering) and all that goes into that along with the lining up of huge investors to buy large blocks of stock on day 1.

Somehow, this film downshifted on the financial terminology etc., and more so focused on the essence and journey of big time investment banker (Gunn) who plays Naomi Bishop.

There is action, tension, speed in this film, particularly as it zips towards the climax which makes it all the more interesting. Plus being only 100 minutes long, even the side stories work as they are not wasteful.

I don't think we've seen a movie where there is a female lead in a contemporary Wall St. setting movie. We get a 1st hand look at the virtually unfair tightrope Gunn must walk of being a female in a man's world while having to accomplish both at 110%.

This complex, insider driven world of $, power, corrupt, zero loyalty etc. favors the males in this industry. Tough enough be a female in this industry and trying to get respect and not be a sex object. They place a woman in a leadership/power position and generally, especially on Wall St, a spot slotted for men (white). They demand her success rate to be higher than a man’s while disdaining the necessary tactics of aggressiveness and demanding (while praising such attributes in a man).

This was a terrific film and a fascinating and very believable story of a powerful, successful woman navigating all the hurdles thrown at her in the male dominated world of high finance. Though she was not a very likable character because of her tough, competitive mature; she had to be. As a result, I very much found myself rooting for her as well as disgusted with the un-level playing field of a career she successfully works in.