‘Worth’ Review – An Emotional Slow Burn Lead By Impressive Performances


Following the horrific 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Congress appoints attorney and renowned mediator Kenneth Feinberg (Michael Keaton) to lead the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Assigned with allocating financial resources to the victims of the tragedy, Feinberg and his firm’s head of operations, Camille Biros (Amy Ryan), face the impossible task of determining the worth of a life to help the families who had suffered incalculable losses. When Feinberg locks horns with Charles Wolf (Stanley Tucci), a community organizer mourning the death of his wife, his initial cynicism turns to compassion as he begins to learn the true human costs of the tragedy.

People are more than a number. As much as we are separated, tallied, and put into categories, a number can’t and shouldn’t determine our existence or our worth. We have been conditioned to quantify the value of each other on a daily basis while those with power, money, and/or influence sit at the top free from the effects. Unfortunately, we seem to forget that the hierarchy was created by those same people with power, money, and/or influence so they can remain at that peak while making it difficult for anyone else to reach that pinnacle.

We know what they’re doing but we get complacent and distracted by everyday life and nothing changes. We get convinced to go against our gut, to put aside what’s in our best interest, and to forget our fellow man unless they agree with you. Somewhere along the way, we abandoned our “stronger together” mentality as divisiveness has spread like a trend on TikTok. Moreover, if the current state of the world is any indication, it really is true, divided we will fall. It’s not too late to turn things around but that means there has to be an admittance of wrongdoing, and that doesn’t come too easily. And when it comes to worth, the homeless person on the corner should be treated with the same respect as someone with a big office. Things move quickly, and at a moment’s notice, that office can turn into a corner real quick.

See also
'Aisha' Review - Letitia Wright's Radiant Performance Illuminates The Resilience Of Asylum Seekers

“What is life worth?

They said never to forget and now we are learning more than ever. Based on a true story, Worth is an emotional slow burn lead by impressive performances and crushing reality. Focusing on the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and the man and his firm tasked with finding a way to financially help the families of victims and survivors of the terrorist attack as well as avoiding an economic collpse, it’s an almost impossible task and one that no one else wants to take on. This legal drama is a film that tackles ethics and morality while simultaneously having you empathize with a lawyer that seemingly lacks empathy himself. As far as the structure of the story, this is an easy watch. It’s easy to follow, very clear, and makes sense. However, the contents of the story are heartbreaking. Not only, are the individual stories that are described devastating to hear, but the fact that people were being treated as lesser individuals is even worse. It offers perspective to all sides but it’s clear who is in the wrong.

On one hand, the film is a bit too formulaic and may lack the high-level intensity you expect. But the fact remains that this is a story that needed to be told and it’s done in a powerful way. The performances are great and are what really makes the film something heavy to hold onto. This film will piss you off, make you cry, and give you tons to think about. Hopefully this film will show others that it’s okay to be wrong and it’s okay to change when you’re in the wrong. Overall, this is a film about humanity and the care for others. This film won’t be for everyone, it will probably bore those who are not fully invested in this aspect of the history. However, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed learning about the in-depth details of what took place after 9/11 and what it took to help those affected. Its rewatchability is medium.

See also
'Io Capitano' Review - Harrowing And Poignant Story Of Freedom And Hope
WORTH (2021) Amy Ryan as Camille Biros and Michael Keaton as Ken Feinberg. Cr: NETFLIX

Pacing & Pop

This film is a slow burn. As the film is a sensitive legal drama, it makes sense and matches the somber tone. What popped for me was the performance of Michael Keaton. The older he gets, he just keeps getting better.

WORTH (2021) Laura Benanti as Karen Donato and Michael Keaton as Ken Feinberg. Cr: NETFLIX

Characters & Chemistry

The cast delivers some powerful and heartfelt performances. Michael Keaton as Ken Feinberg goes through a very genuine transformation that is very impactful to the story but for those watching as well. Charles Wolf (Stanley Tucci) is a character that we can instantly connect with. He is the unrelenting representation of the American people in their time of grief, anger, and expectation to be treated as human beings. Amy Ryan delivers an emotional performance as Camille Biros. She is the empathy of the film along with Shunori Ramanathan as Priya Khundi.

Worth premieres on Netflix on September 3rd, 2021. Stay safe and enjoy.

Director: Sara Colangelo

Writer: Max Borenstein

Prodcuers: Marc Butan, p.g.a.; Anthony Katagas, p.g.a.; Michael Sugar, p.g.a.; Bard Dorros, Sean Sorensen, Max Borenstein, p.g.a.; Michael Keaton

Executive Producers: Nik Bower, Deepak Nayar, Andrea Scarso, Amit Pandya, Stephen Spence, Ara Keshishian, Allen Liu, Kimberly Fox, Charles Miller, Edward Fee, Dean Buchanan, Matthew B. Schmidt, Mary Aloe, Michael Becker, Christina Papagjika, Matthew Salloway

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 57m

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOAemeB9CAw]

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments