Good People

good people

This 2014 movie is about how Money Changes People. Based on the novel Good People written by Marcus Sakey, it is about what happens to a young couple who find 220,000 pounds of cash in the ceiling of their basement.

Tom Wright (James Franco) is a landscape architect and his wife Anna (Kate Hudson) is a school teacher. They move from America to the sleepy London suburb of Mortlake because they have been traumatised by Anne’s miscarriage and Tom has inherited the family house from his grandmother. They fall into severe debt and face eviction, so they take in a tenant who pays cash to live in the basement of their house.

One day, they discover the tenant murdered. While cleaning up the basement, they find the bag of money. They decide to hide it and use it to clear their debt and for Anna to seek IVF treatment. Detective Inspector John Halden (Tom Wilkinson) pays them an unexpected visit while they are counting the cash. Halden wants to know how they are related to their tenant, and why they didn’t feel it odd that the tenant always paid in cash the three months he was there; he also wants to know if there was anything unusual about him and whether they found anything else besides the body as the police report said he died of a drug overdose.

Tom gets a job offer from a French guy who bought a big house at Nottingham. He wants Tom to meet him alone to talk about renovations. Calling himself Genghis Khan (Omar Sy) and saying that he wants to expand his empire, he issues a threat when Tom tries to decline the job. Khan also talks about his rival, drug lord Jack Wikowski (Sam Sprurell) and Tom’s wife Anna.

From this point, there is a lot of violence and gore – frenzied fights, savage beatings, indiscriminate shooting, lots of blood and all sorts of unspeakable torture. Though I know there are stuntment who perform all these, the realistic-looking prosthetics and props and the visual effect make me flinch.

In the end, the couple co-operated with the police, using themselves as bait, to lure Jack and Khan into the open. Although I wouldn’t call this a great movie, I think it has conveyed an important message depicted in this short dialogue early in the movie:

Tom: We spent our whole lives to be good and what did we get? Nothing. So maybe this money is a gift to help us get our lives back on our track.

Anna: We don’t know where this money come from. It could be really really bad money.

Tom: What makes money bad? It’s not the money. People make the money bad. What people do with it.

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