Money Has Four Legs
There’s something quite amusing about how Money Has Four Legs begins, overlooking what can and can’t be done and shown in a feature film. It all sounds so ridiculous – but there’s an ever-present truth in there somewhere. That’s the general tone of the overall picture: a mesh of realism and comedy to create the ultimate form of satire. It’s humorous in the most brutally honest of ways, but one would almost feel bad laughing at it.
Described as “strongly character-driven”, the storytelling is quiet, done mostly through natural dialogue. Each plot thread begins with conversation, whether in talks of money problems, or in discussions about the artistic direction of Wai Bhone’s first feature – two of the film’s central conflicts. The character interactions are also very honest, specifically the husband-and-wife dynamic, which showcases petty verbal disputes juxtaposed against sweet and tender moments. These scenes aren’t over-dramatised and don’t escalate to miscommunication and misunderstandings, which is refreshing in a portrayal of marital friction.
It’s hard to tell which point of view is more frustrating: the corrupt producer overly concerned with money, or the stubborn, uncompromising director with an artistic vision. It’s hard to truly take anyone’s side here, given that every single character is flawed in their own right. But still, they are very justified in their grievances, and sometimes even in their actions. The film’s subtle and somewhat absurd way of foreshadowing also helps in this regard, one particular highlight being an amateur scriptwriter’s idea as an early sign of the future heist. It truly is just a story of being pushed beyond one’s limit – of moral and artistic values clashing with one’s circumstances.
The production makes heavy use natural lighting and warm filters. There are sudden cuts and changes of scenes mid-conversation, and there are no over-exaggerated transitions. Lots of shots of the city and environment truly outline the living conditions of the main character, and also emphasise the significance of being resident in a district with ample connections and opportunities. The comedy is very dry and perfectly embedded into the script, so that even when it’s slapstick, it doesn’t feel too out of place. And that’s really the strength of Money Has Four Legs: it creates absurdity in the most realistic of circumstances.
Money Has Four Legs does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2021 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.
Watch the trailer for Money Has Four Legs here: