Trick : Confidence Trickster

Swindled by ‘The Black Swindler’?

I have always wondered this – Why can’t filmmakers make their films to be as good as the trailers of their films? Once I saw an intriguing movie trailer. So entranced was I that I went to see the show. To my surprise, the trailer was better made than the film itself! Every single interesting scene was already captured more or less fully in the trailer. In other words, there was nothing else interesting in the film, other than the trailer bits in it! Was the trailer misleading, or did I mislead myself? After all, the snippets within the trailer are indeed from the movie anyway – so where is the marketing deceit?

Anyway, the pace of the trailer of “The Black Swindler” is very different from the pace of the actual film. So much that I felt quite swindled! Then again, it was good enough to deserve the review that I’m writing here. The story tells of a guy whose family was destroyed by a swindler, which led him to be a “swindler of swindlers” for revenge. His cause is more than personal – since he takes on swindlers in general in a Robin Hood way, though not losing focus on seeking ways to swindle the key swindler. To take on this formidable swindler, he kind of takes tutelage from another great swindler. Now, will a true swindler help another swindler, or only ultimately swindle him into thinking this is possible? Good question about honour among thieves.

A woman, whose family was likewise destroyed by the same swindler, urged the guy to renounce his thoughts of vengeance, telling him to accept his past. He retorts that he will not accept a past twisted out of shape by a swindler. But here is the twist – even if it was painfully twisted, he was not letting go of the twistedness, maintaining and aggravating it it with his seething resentment. This woman had accepted her past so well that she literally sleeps with the enemy. Who is betraying their conscience? The woman or the guy? Which is more regrettable – thinking of, or not thinking of righting a wrong? There is a Middle Way – not by taking it so personally, but by unconditionally helping the law apprehend the guilty with evidence, even if by entrapment. If the law does not come in to punish fairly, genuine repentance might be absent.

The film alludes a lot to the game of Othello, where the black and white pieces switch quite unpedictaby to be each other. Swindlers who are out for wealth are called “white cranes”, while the hero dubs himself a “black crane” – one who devours white cranes. Just as it is hard to tell which side is winning midway through a good game of Othello, it is also hard to tell if the black crane has become a white crane in the process. It is easily mistaken that the last few moves matters in the board game. However, as in life itself, every move matters – every move, as dictated by our motivations, with or without compassion and wisdom.