Film Review 10: Focus


The film ‘Focus’ is a 2015 American romantic crime drama film, written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. The film stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Rodrigo Santoro.

Now, I know what you may be thinking, it’s not a thriller film! Yes, that is true, but for the main task my group and I have decided to make it a crime-thriller genre, so I thought it would be a good idea to gather gather information and understand the conventions for a crime film, so that when it comes to the main task we can incorporate the conventions of a thriller film and a crime film to make a very good hybrid genre.


The Trailer


The Plot

Nicky Spurgeon (Will Smith) is a very successful and accomplished con man who takes on an amateur con artist, Jess (Margot Robbie), after shes tries to rob him. Nicky and Jess become romantically involved whilst taking on massive scores by conning people. But with Nicky’s profession of being a liar and a cheater for a living, Nicky realises that deception and love are things that don’t go together. They split, only to see each other three years later… And things get messy.


Narrative Structure

The film ‘Focus’ follows a circular narrative. This is because the film starts of with the gun man crashing into the car Nicky is in, and then gets out and points a gun at him. The film then goes to an earlier point in time, and the audience is taken through the narrative until the film reaches the point in the narrative the audience were first introduced to, this being near the end of the film.


Directors and Actors

Directors- Glenn Ficarra and John Requa both directed and wrote this film. glenn-ficarra-and-john-requaThese two men seem to do a lot of joint writing and directing, as I researched into what other films each of them had directed, and sure enough they have both directed the same films.

Usually I would list the other films that the directors have been apart of, but these two have not been involved in any other crime or thriller genre films, so there is no benefit to me in researching their other films.

Actors- Will Smith played the role of a cool, sophisticated con artist, and was very good at portraying a character that had a troubled past. However, good acting was to be expected from this film, due to the stars (especially Will Smith) being very iconic actors.


My Opinion

When I first watched this film, I was glued to the story the story, as I found it fascinating how the con artists used science and the game of odds to con people out of millions of dollars. This was especially true in the American football scene. This scene had me on the edge of my seat because of how tense, nail-biting, intelligent and crazy this scene was. I tried to find a clip of this scene on YouTube but I couldn’t, (probably due to copyright) so i strongly suggest that you readers go and watch this film, even just for this scene as it is perfectly written and executed exquisitely with the camera work work and editing to make it even more tense.

My criticism is that I believe after a couple of times watching this film, it would lose its enigma as the viewer already knows the outcome of all the tense scenes, making it not as effective. And that’s what I think makes the film good, the enigma it creates in the audience. Also, the film was very poorly named, the title is just irrelevant to the film. I supose you have to stay focused when pick pocketing someone, but the film could of been named something a little more relevant to the script.  Also, when Nicky leaves Jess, after the big score at the American football game, this came as a big shock to me, and not in a good way as it didn’t make sense, why would you leave someone you loved after you succesfully conned someone for millions of dollars, that just did not make sense to me.


Would I Rate It?

I would give this film a 7/10. This is because it was very gripping, yet there was a few things to do with the script I think could be improved.





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