The Accountant :: A Gradual Slide Into Nonsense and Cliché…

Cineville - Accountant

I really liked the set-up to The Accountant and the first hour more or less lived up to that promise.

I enjoyed the back-story of the poor little autistic boy being denied proper therapy and instead being toughened up by his meathead army father. I enjoyed that the boy used his genius for maths to become an accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous psychopaths. I even enjoyed the burgeoning relationship between Christian Wolff (the eponymous accountant, played with convincing lack of emotion by Ben Affleck) and fellow number-geek Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick). Ooh, and I especially enjoyed the bits where Wolff was unintentionally rude. Those were my favourite bits. Classic autism. 

What I didn’t enjoy was the occasionally cheesy dialogue, the extremely tedious shoot-out finale, which everyone has literally seen a billion times before, and the fact that the plot just stopped making sense about halfway through the film. Or at least it did to me. I was prepared to think that the fault was mine and I was too slow in certain areas to keep up, but other reviews have backed me up. It was nonsense. And that’s a shame. Because it could have been a really good film. Instead of just very, very average.

Cineville - Accountant

Oh, and the montage sequence where they try to make accountancy cinematic by making Affleck write on the windows was just silly.



The Viewing

I was asked where I’d like to sit at this Sunday evening screening at FilmHallen (which is I think the closest cinema to where I live, so probably the one I’ll end up visiting the most) and I chose my favourite seat. My favourite seat is in the middle of the second row. That’s my favourite because for some reason, there is no seat in front of it, so you have all the legroom you need. Also, the screen is – for me – exactly the right distance away. However, when I got to my seat, the guy behind me had draped his massive furry-hooded coat over the back and top of my chair.

As I took my seat, only a couple of minutes before the film was due to start, I prepared myself to have to ask him to move his coat. I didn’t want his furry hood on my head during the film after all. Being so close to the screen means there is a lot of head movement on my part, so it would have been a bother to feel this man's coat-fur sticking to my hair.

Just as I was about to speak to him, however, he spoke to me, and asked if his coat was going to be a bother. Except he asked me in Dutch, so I couldn’t be sure and had to ask him to repeat it in English. ‘Is my coat alright on your chair?’ he asked, or words to that effect. ‘Not really,’ I said. This was not the answer he was expecting. He looked shocked, really shocked, like I'd spat at him. He asked me again, imagining I must have misunderstood him. I repeated my answer and asked him to move his coat, as charmingly and politely as I could. With a look of baffled disdain, this young Dutch man, probably in his early 20s, took his coat off my chair and started wittering on to his friends in half a panic about what to do with it. ‘Just put the fucker on the floor!’ I cried, helpfully. But, thankfully, not out loud.

Facing forward, I heard him continuing to mutter to his friends and I wondered briefly if I’d done the wrong thing. Ultimately, I decided I hadn’t, but rather than dwell on his feelings about me, or indeed mine about him, I completely put it out of my mind and focused on the screen.

That might all sound so inconsequential as to be barely worth mentioning, but I mention it anyway, because it was one of those moments in which I recognised a change in my behaviour. In the past, I might have allowed a small, slightly awkward chance encounter like that to fester, replaying it over and over and becoming increasingly exasperated. Not tonight though.

Tonight I watched The Accountant.

About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you’ll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven’t already.

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