CHASING MADOFF (eOne, 2010) D: Jeff Prosserman. Rating: NN; DVD package: NN Rating: NN
Harry Markopolos's nine-year struggle to expose Bernie Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi scheme is a fascinating story. Sadly, Jeff Prosserman's movie does not fully explore its potential.
In 1999, investment manager Markopolos sees signs of fraud in a document and launches an investigation, aided by a couple of colleagues and, later on, a reporter. He takes his report to the Securities Exchange Commission, Wall Street's regulatory agency, and gets no response. Ditto when he tries the press.
Prosserman uses Congressional hearing footage, news clips and a few victim interviews but mostly relies on interviews with Markopolos and his associates, often as voice-overs for uninformative and visually uninteresting recreations of events.
What's missing are the details that might bring the story into focus. How do the SEC executives explain their failure? What does the Wall Street Journal say about keeping its reporter off the story? How did Madoff fish so many banks into working with him? What were Markopolos's 29 red flags that signalled fraud?
In his commentary, Prosserman explains some of the film's shortcomings, discusses his visual style and tells production stories.
EXTRAS Commentary, deleted scenes, alternate ending. English audio. English SDH subtitles.