If the opening night was any indication, this year’s AGH BMO World Film Festival will be an impressive success.
This is the fourth year the Art Gallery of Hamilton has organized the World Film Festival in Hamilton, Ontario. To launch the nine-day event, festival director Annette Paiement and organizers chose Easy Money, an underworld thriller from Sweden.
It was a bold choice, as Easy Money is ultraviolent and vulgar enough to possibly put off older viewers, but it was an effective one, as well. The film tells the story of JW (Joel Kinnaman), a business student who lives a lifestyle of luxury he can’t afford simply to create the illusion he comes from a bluer-blood background.
He begins to get embroiled with the Swedish underworld, helping smuggle drugs into the country. Before you can say “dumb idea,” he’s in over his head, with a kingpin who’s simply using him until JW’s usefulness runs out and a cop who’s always right on their tail. When JW decides he wants out, things get even worse.
Easy Money is a film made up of scenes and characters we’ve seen before in various other movies, but it’s sewn together into something mostly new. It’s also great evidence that even if the content is familiar, quality trumps all. Part GoodFellas and part A Simple Plan, it’s one of the best thrillers to come out this year.
Day 2 of the World Film Festival will feature showings of The Salt of Life, To Rome with Love, and Beasts of the Southern Wild.