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Easy Money at Tower Theater

Dragomir Mrsic as Mrado in Daniel Espinosa's film Easy Money.
Frank Ashberg

As the general run of action films blithely defies the laws of gravity and consequence, what a pleasure to find a movie as grounded, physically and emotionally, as Daniel Espinosa's downbeat pulper Easy Money. A hit in its native Sweden as Snabba Cash, the English title is a piece of cheap irony; this is a crime thriller where no one gets away clean, and every action has its irrevocable reaction. Following a novel by lawyer-cum-novelist Jens Lapidus, Easy Money nimbly braids together three narrative strands: South American Jorge (Matias Padin Varela) busts out of prison and goes straightaway to work on a big coke deal; Serbian hit man Mrado (Dragomir Mrsic) goes after him at the behest of competing business interests; and lowborn native Swede "J.W." (Joel Kinnaman), an economics major with social-climbing aspirations, chameleons his way into country-estate parties in Mr. Ripley style, drifting into crime in order to pay the tab for his master-of-the-universe imposture. Each man and his hustler's ambition is illustrated by way of quotidian detail—Jorge's family drama, Mrado's forced guardianship of a young daughter, J.W. sewing up a cheap facsimile of preppy dress—and that same intimate attention provides a clear view of variously tempered consciences bending and breaking under pressure.

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