Going in Style: High on drama, Low on humour
Cast : Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin
Director : Zach Braff
Put three Hollywood stalwarts and a director with a keen eye for comedy and drama together, and the worst you’re going to get is a half decent film. Scrubs may have made Zach Braff quite the star, but his critically acclaimed Garden State just proved he had the goods to make a successful crossover to the big screen. Going In Style will definitely not be considered his best work, but it tries hard in the drama department. It’s one of those films that is neither an all-out comedy nor a serious drama. It struck me as patchwork of elements with three acting greats exploring old age roles as their careers have slowed over time.
Old timers Joe (Caine), Willie (Freeman), and Al (Arkin), have been the best of friends for a long time. While Joe lives with his wife and grand-daughter, Willie and Al share a place together. The factory they work for is moving to the Far East, and as a result, their pensions have been frozen. The three men are down on their luck, not to mention flat broke. Joe will lose his house if he doesn’t receive his next pension cheque. Willie struggles to see his family often enough because of his station in life. Al is not much better off than either of them. In spite of their situation, they manage to make light of important matters. Joe witnesses his bank being robbed by an armed trio of trained thieves one day. Finding out that their factory has employed the same bank to pay off its debts with the workers’ pension fund, Joe on a whim, convinces his two friends that they ought to stage a heist of their own and take what’s rightfully theirs.
Going In Style has its moments, no doubt. The exploration of old age and all that surrounds the three men as they live out their final years, is handled with great sensitivity. The comedy, however, does not match up to the drama. This is a film that is by no means a masterpiece. It’s no secret that acting roles of varied range (no matter how great you are) are difficult to come by as you age. Going In Style is worth a watch just to see what the likes of Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin are up to, if not for anything else.