Director: Gavin O’Connor
Cast: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Cynthia Addai-Robinson.
Having a good cinematographer is always worth it and The Accountant is just another movie that proves it. While it is a story full of cold-blooded action, it is wonderful to see how it has remained faithfully lit up and textured. The corridors have just enough light and the night has a natural brightness. In fact, some of the scenes almost make you forget that it is an image.
The accountant (Ben Affleck) has a mental condition as a young boy. The manifestation of the condition leaves him with OCD and violently reactive to certain stimuli. The upbringing of the child is crucial here, as the film presents the result of his father’s way of bringing him up, which is contrary to the suggestion by the expert of such conditions. The resultant Christian Wolff is a meticulous accountant, who cannot leave his work unfinished. Can traverse through volumes of accounting data overnight and is a nerd in his personal life.
He works for a select group of clients who are high-profile criminals, managing their finances on a freelance basis. His paychecks are definitely high, but he manages to stay under the radar by carefully managing his books. His collection of paintings, currency, gold and arms establishes him as a complete nerd and to accentuate it all, he has no one in his life — no girlfriend, no social life at all. He has personal mobile storehouse for all this and he also has an invisible secretary who negotiates business and assists in movements on a daily basis.
The average accountant who is usually the most ignored person in any given office has something to associate with. The unflinching accuracy with which Ben Affleck decimates his opponents in a fight is definitely something all accountants would want to do when they see a transaction that seems foul. The love of numbers and the need to balance the sheets must be compelling. The next time you meet an accountant; you better give him the respect that he deserves.
Anna Kendrick has one moment of affection, but mostly she is the average accountant who does not have a social life too, and any chances of the two coming together are not visible. The other notable performance is by Cynthia Addai-Robinson. Working as the agent in the Treasury department, she grapples with almost no leads to identify the “accountant” who is almost faceless and invisible in the financial radar. While her introduction in the story is sidelined, she emerges as one of the important faces by the end of it. She is one actor to watch out for.
The central plot of the story is quite interesting for even the richest of the rich guys, the accountants handle the transactions, and while we continue to ponder upon their wealth, we hardly recognise the accountants who help in keeping their fortunes intact.
While this is a very specialised kind of accountant, it does raise an interest in the whole area of accounting, especially with respect to the embezzlements and the black money circulation.
Moments that stand out in the movie are when Christian Wolff is in his mobile storage unit along with Dana (Anna Kendrick). He is packing his bag with all kinds of items, including guns and he also puts in a comic book. His particularly organised drawers and wardrobes are a delight to watch, and establish his nerdiness in full proportions.
Gavin O’Connor has been so detailed in his filmmaking process. If you are aware of OCD or suffer one yourself, you would find some more solace in this, and perhaps your friends would be able to understand why you behave like you behave.
The Accountant gives some serious food for thought: is this the right kind of childhood for children with special needs? Will forcing them to a violent childhood help them in channelling their anger and diversify their mental condition? Will it produce more equipped and enabled individuals? If that is correct, then I believe humanity has achieved one more miracle.