The Benefactor Review
Things are great as a philanthropist named Franny (Richard Gere) is reunited with two of his best friends just as he begins building a new children's hospital. Things take a sharp turn as the group gets involved in a tragic car accident causing Franny's life to spiral out of control. Time passes and eventually the daughter of his friends comes back into his life looking to see if she could get a job for her newly married husband. The two come back into the city with overly welcome arms from Franny which begins to scare the couple. As he continues to give a selection of great charity to the two he also works on recreating his glory days that only adds to the unsettling situation. It starts off well creating the picture of a depressed and lonely rich man finding some purpose with this being lost about halfway through. There was some good build of the character and that he seemed to mean well though it just lost focus at one point taking another direction. Even when it reached this new point it brushed this away as if nothing else had happened. It was just rather odd to see all this build-up towards the character reaching a certain point for it not to end with any sort of impact at all. The story itself also felt as though it ended abruptly at its ending and I didn't feel it got the point it trying to create across.
The acting was well done in the film with each of characters feeling believable and Richard Gere was particularly charming as rich many that genuinely cared about the people around him that had dark vices surrounding his saddened life. I found that the husband (Theo James) was solid throughout the movie being confused at the generous gifts though even that character had a weird shift towards the end that felt rather sudden and underdeveloped. The daughter Olivia (Dakota Fanning) was also rather underused not being an essential part of the film as she was just somewhat there in the background most of the time. The cinematography of the film was decent enough though I wasn't every truly impressed by any of the shots presented.
The Benefactor had an interesting start along with some decent character development for the old philanthropist though it didn't generally go anywhere. The story had an alright start with interesting characters and like I stated before I was never sure of the direction for the film as it just meandered through the narrative before abruptly ending with too easy of an ending. Ultimately the movie just didn't come together though I was impressed with Richard Gere's performance as he played the rich and broken person quite well.
Review for The Benefactor at Home with Blu Ray Viewing
Screening Provided by VVS Films
Rating Overall: 4.5