by Christie Robb
Writer/director Corey Stanton (Robbery) gets a great return on his investment with his one-actor/one-location movie, Trader.
Well, primarily one actor.
While she occasionally talks to some folks on the phone, the majority of the film falls on Kimberly-Sue Murray’s (Freeform’s Shadow Hunters) shoulders. She plays an unnamed sociopathic loner in a dingy, unfurnished apartment, who starts off the film by scamming an older man out of his credit card details.
She’s ambitious. And with the seven grand in her bank account, she educates herself about the stock market and becomes a day trader. After her bets start to pay off, she craves a seat at the “high-rollers table” and wants to get a face-to-face meeting with the bosses at a major brokerage firm.
And she’s willing to assume a lot of risk to do so.
Stanton and Murray manage to keep the momentum of the piece up despite the potential for audience fatigue at seeing the same person/location for an hour and a half. As her fortunes rise, the Trader revamps her apartment, which helps. She invests in programable lights that shift from green to red to reflect the changing market. The Trader also slips in and out of different personas with distinctive accents as she chats on the phone to set various scams in motion.
And then there’s her inner life, which is depicted in moody black and white and provides a contrast to the usual look of the film. And, of course, there’s the trip she takes on some sort of new mind-altering drug to get a stock tip via vision quest. Any scene that starts with someone blending raw eggs, tomatoes, wasabi, a loose-leaf sheet of paper filled with inspirational quotes, and three times the amount of an experimental hallucinogenic in a bullet-blender and downing it like it’s a shot is bound to be memorable.
Despite Stanton’s best efforts to educate me on how day-trading works and the terminology involved, I did feel somewhat adrift on what exactly was happening from a financial perspective as the film neared its climax. But it was easy enough to get the gist.
Overall, this movie was a winner and an inspirational example of how to get a big bang for your buck.