Movie Review: ‘The Banker’

Samantha Clinton, Staff Writer

‘The Banker’, an American drama, is an eye-opening film that not only tells the story of a smart and ambitious black man working to achieve his dreams but also accurately encapsulates the inequality and racism that accompanies him.

More specifically, the story follows Bernard Garrett and his interest in both becoming a real estate investor as well as attempting to eliminate racist practices in this business. 

Although the story primarily follows the life of Bernard Garrett, his business partner, Joe Morris, represents a similar, yet widely different persona that makes the film so fascinating to watch. 

Yes, I’m sure that at first look the plot doesn’t seem too exciting. To be fair, that was my perspective before walking into this movie. From what I’ve noticed, there does seem to be a pattern of historical dramas like these to get great reviews, and it’s for a reason. 

To branch off of that, the overall storyline and ideas for the film were great. I thought it was interesting, touching, and informative. Sadly, I just couldn’t help but feel like it could’ve been executed better, especially for a 2-hour movie. 

That’s not to say that I thought it was boring, it just felt like it was missing something. The characters, especially the main character Bernard, seemed very emotionless and tough to break through. I understood the purpose behind making him this way, but it was hard to feel connected to his character when I constantly felt a barrier. 

This film highlighted the harsh realities of racism in the 1950s and the unfair advantages that white men had over black men in both business and everyday life. I thought it was interesting to see the different perspectives of black men in this film. It made me realize how some black people had given up fighting at this point, while others still had the determination to fight against this discrimination. 

The cinematography in this film was *chef’s kisses*. I appreciated that they used a subtle sepia-type tone as well as earth tones to make the shots look more aged and exact regarding the year this is based on. Unfortunately, I did start to feel as though the quality of the movie, both acting, and look-wise, went downhill as it progressed. 

The end, more specifically a trial that occurs towards the end, brings out the true emotions in this film that I was waiting for. Although anger and determination were the two dominant emotions I saw in the bulk of this film, it was fulfilling to see the characters ease up a bit as their character developed and refined their relationships. 

Just like all films, this one wasn’t perfect. With A+ actors and a well-thought-out storyline, I’m sure they could’ve carried it out better. Nevertheless, it deserves credit for providing us with an untold, worthy, and creative story.

Watch ‘The Banker’ on Apple TV+ now!