The Accountant Review: The Problem with Masculinity

The Accountant is supposed to be an interesting thriller about a man living with a severe case of autism that has fallen into a life of crime and murder, but instead, the highlight (or rather, lowlight) of the film is the lead character’s terrible father and terrible childhood.

The Accountant showcases a horrible case of systematic, stereotypical masculinity between the lead character, Christian, and his late father as he was growing up.

Being a child with autism would’ve made childhood hard enough, but the typical male attitude of “throw him in a pile of spiders, he’ll toughen up” was the father’s tactic when trying to find a way for his son to live a normal, or as normal as he could, life.

It’s disgusting on its own. He outright refused to let his child get actual help from someone who understands neurological disorders firsthand. Instead, he made his child face his disorder by trying to ignore it, which ultimately, turned him into a cold-blooded killer who’s unable to connect with anyone at all, and he never learned the skills to actually interact with other people instead of pretend to understand their feelings and mannerisms.

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Ben Affleck is amazing as always, as is Anna Kendrick.

For what he was given, Christian Wolff is a unique, interesting character, and the performance of a man coping with autism and learning to live with the effects in every day life and trying to keep the facade of a normal life in tact is remarkable. Even the simple things, like the blowing on his fingers, were all necessary to keeping up with the character and what makes him tick.

What’s lacking is Christian’s relationship with Dana. He had little interaction with her, and what he did wasn’t very outstanding or anything, so him suddenly deciding to save her instead of save himself is rushed and a bit out of place. Anna Kendrick’s character was reduced down to a girl that studied math and found a flaw in her company’s accounts to a free-minded love interest.

The classic story of masculinity: “toughen up” and save the damsel in distress.

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