Excited to watch handsome Clive Owen and Tom Wilkinson (a favorite actor), I paid my $10+ for a ticket to see just released "Duplicity." From an entertainment perspective, I was not disappointed. Footage of fashionable Julia Roberts and lovely backdrops from London, Zurich, Rome and New York is fun eye candy for viewers everywhere. The film’s writer and director is the same Tony Gilroy who directed "Michael Clayton" (a great thriller if you haven’t seen it). I don’t want to give away too much about the film. Part of its appeal is a surprise ending.
What does bother me however is the almost swarmy glamorization of corporate ethics gone awry. No matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, it still oinks. Theft of intellectual property is made to seem "cool" and "hip." For those inventors and entrepreneurs who toil long hours for little pay, and those investors (like pensions, foundations and endowments) who support them with allocations to venture capital and private equity, I found the movie disturbing to say the least. Adding insult to injury, the oft-repeated "deny everything," "make counteraccusations" and "admit nothing" seems like a page ripped from the headlines.
For a light respite after a long work week, Duplicity is worth the price of a ticket. If you are expecting to see honorable business actions being imortalized on celluloid, look elsewhere.