As far as con man movies go it has been done and redone quite a lot of times. Once in a while though Hollywood does manage the occasional surprise which leaves the audiences spell bound. From the iconic Inception to Oceans 11 to the classic Catch me if you can, this genre has managed to capture the attention of the viewers & Oscar juries alike. The one that I am about to now tell you about brought Will Smith back to the big screen after a while. Focus is a mix of a crime drama, entertainment, comedy & emotion. Does it though, manage to steal your focus unwaveringly throughout? Read on to find out.
Focus begins with the lead duo, the suave Will Smith as seasoned con mon Nicky Spurgeon & the gorgeous Margot Robbie as the amateur Jess in New York where Jess tries to scam Nicky with seduction. When it fails Nicky, starts advising her on how to always keep the act on & not lose focus. When he tells her about him being in the game for generations she is intrigued & wants to learn more. The screenplay Is fantastic & gripping as the story begins to unfold with the professional con man Nicky taking the young, eager & novice Jess as his protégé in a business that makes them millions of dollars through the skill of deception. From a simple watch flicking, wallet stealing to effortlessly flicking jewellery, the group involved has perfect timing, skill & co-ordination which highly impresses you. Nicky is a third-generation con man who knows the trade like the back of his hand & Jess, though new at the big game, is a quick learner. She makes her way in their group skilfully. The moments of camaraderie between Jess & another group member Farhad, obese & profane, played by actor & comedian Adrian Martinez are light, hilarious & are truly some of the fun elements in the story.
The chemistry between Will Smith & Margot Robbie is explosive & their involvement with each other is something that is much expected. Not used to having emotions get the better of him in his ‘business’, Nicky soon realizes it is difficult to balance their professional & personal lives. He then abruptly walks away from Jess, leaving her & the audiences surprised. It’s only after a couple of years that he meets her again at yet another elaborate scam he’s taken up. He then pursues her again to rekindle their relationship amidst the ongoing scam. What ensues then are a few unexpected twists that make you question his true feelings for her yet the plot is fast paced enough to keep you hooked onto the con he is there for. It ends with them getting caught for the con but they manage to escape with a twist that for sure needs to be watched out for.
The writers & directors Glenn Ficarra & John Requa knows the capabilities of their actors well & have pushed the envelope with the elements of comedy & romance that make this a fun watch. The best con the movie pulls on you is making a romantic comedy appear like a crime thriller. It is definitely worth your time & focus. Highly recommended.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.