No Loss, No Gain is a thriller that takes bank heist films in a new direction. Seemingly inspired by the Wall Street bailouts, the film follows a group of people who intend to take down a corrupt bank and its associates while also spreading some of the wealth.
What initially appears as a typical robbery at a local branch turns into a more complex story. The employees and customers in the bank at the time of the hold-up are held hostage in a conference room, and that’s when negotiations begin. Those in charge of the operation work to convince others of the bank’s corruptness and to convince them to share in the wealth. It soon becomes clear that this was a well-planned event and that not everyone who works at the bank was in the dark.
I hesitate to share more of the plot details for fear of spoilers, so I’ll leave it there and discuss the strong points of this film. First off, the acting was great across the board. I’ve struggled to stick with many independent films due to shaky acting, but this was not the case with No Loss, No Gain. Everyone among the cast gave a believable performance. There are some emotionally charged moments throughout the film, and each of the actors delivered in those scenes.
The acting combined with an effective score and continued tension makes for a solid film experience overall. Much of the film takes place in one room, and just in limited spaces in general. Sometimes this can be a downfall if it’s not done properly, but in this instance, the story was compelling enough that it worked. The boardroom scenes are engaging, but it might’ve been less effective without the other locales and characters sprinkled in.
No Loss, No Gain brings up questions of morality and makes the viewer think about what they’d do if they were in the same situation. It’s sort of a modern-day twist on the tale of Robin Hood in the way that one questions who is truly the villain. The fact that it shines a light on real-world issues makes the storytelling even stronger and more impactful. I was hoping for more follow-up toward the ending—seeing how the event impacted those involved in the future, but I think there wasn’t enough time for it in the film. Considering that, I can see why it ends where it does, and leaves the viewer with more questions to ponder.
I’d certainly watch more from this writer/director and think it’s a film that will go over well with fans of crime thrillers and films that focus on the horrors of humanity.
8 out of 10