By Brianna Guillory
Get ready for a film that makes you leave the theater wondering, “What on Earth did I just watch?”
But in a good way.
“Focus,” written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa is about the endeavors of a professional con man, Nicky (Will Smith), and his relationship with con-artist-in-training, Jess (Margot Robbie). While the premise of the film itself screams, “Ocean’s Eleven” with a dash more romance, the film produces a slightly more realistic feel with much more sober heists.
Because of the pragmatic approach, a film like this could easily become stale or, for lack of better words, lose its focus. But Ficarra and Requa take care to pay attention every detail of the plot in order for viewers to not question their approach.
And just as the film seems like it is about to have a cliched and predictable outcome, suddenly moviegoers are thrown for a loop as the writers toss in a not so predictable twist. And the twists are not always fully explained, forcing the viewer to pay attention to the film’s entirety in order to not miss a beat.
Yes, move over M Night Shyamalan. Someone does it better than you. Again.
The relationship between Smith and Robbie’s characters has some great genuine chemistry. And although the romance is a big focus in the film, instead of being separate from the other sublots, it actually works along with them. This creates a very fluid movement to the film, making it easy to follow despite its underlying complexities.
Although one could argue that the age difference between the two actors makes Smith look a little bit like a cradle robber, the ages actually work for the characters of this film since Smith is playing as a well-seasoned con artist and Robbie is playing as a rookie.
The film is also sprinkled with a great supporting cast, with the writers giving a purpose to every single character.
The exotic Rodrigo Santoro plays as the main antagonist Garriga and contains just enough charisma to win the audience over. Adrian Martinez plays as the much too likeable and awkward character Farhad and serves as the main comedy relief of the film. Gerald McRaney plays Owens, Garriga’s right hand man, and shares some great witty banter with Smith’s character.
With exceptional dialogue, interesting twists and a plot that inspires deep thought “Focus” is a movie that is certainly worth seeing.