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BET, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Desperate to prove himself, Will (Matthew Newton), a young Sydney stockbroker, makes a bet with his wealthy banker friend (Aden Young): who can make the most money in 90 days? Obsessed with winning at all costs, Will engages in illicit games - trading lies for money, until he realises that winning at all costs may mean losing more than he could ever imagine.

Review by Louise Keller:
Set in the intoxicating world of high finance, The Bet is an engrossing film about taking risks. It is clear from the start there is much more than money riding on the wager between the two central characters. We are sucked into a money hungry corporate world, where game playing and deception is commonplace and money is the only language that matters.

Effectively a contemporary dual between two men, where swords are exchanged for money, actor Mark Lee's directing debut is outstanding for many reasons. It might be low budget, but looks a million dollars with its good looking cast and beautiful cinematography showcasing Sydney as it is really is. Through tight close ups, we are taken right into the hearts of the soul-less. Funded entirely by private finance, the film is edgy and unpredictable, and jolts us through its journey. It also marks the script writing/producing debut of lawyer Caroline Gerard, who writes about a world she knows intimately. The business world has never looked so grotty, its lies, manipulation and greed tarnishing the expensive suits of the participants. Power, control and ego are like a destructive tornado.

Matthew Newton and Aden Young complement each other perfectly as Will and Angus, men from different sides of the corporate street. The hardworking stock broker and high-flying banker might exercise and drink together, but there is a clear dividing line when Will watches Angus playing polo from the sidelines. All they represent is at stake, as reputations and relationships are in the balance. All the performances are excellent with Sibylla Budd vulnerable as the lawyer who is risk averse, Tim Richards as smooth talking money-man Benno and Roy Billing as George, the film's only straight forward character.

As tense as The Bank, with its 'Greed is Good' sentiment from Wall Street, The Bet is a winner on its own terms. No two ways about it.

DVD special features include behind the scenes documentary and an audio commentary with writer/producer Caroline Gerrard and director Mark Lee.

Published March 13, 2008

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

BET, THE: DVD (M)
(Aust, 2006)

CAST: Matthew Newton, Aden Young, Sibylla Budd, Tim Richards, Peta Sargeant, Roy Billing, Alyssa McClelland, Anthony Harkin, Paul Gleeson

PRODUCER: Caroline Gerard

DIRECTOR: Mark Lee

SCRIPT: Caroline Gerard

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Hugh Miller

EDITOR: Jason Ballantine

MUSIC: John Gray

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Sam Wilde

RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Gerrycan Distribution

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 13, 2007

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Behind the scenes; audio commentary with writer/producer Caroline Gerrard and director Mark Lee, teasers and theatrical trailer

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

DVD RELEASE: March 12, 2008







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