“When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.

— H.L. Mencken

Definition of “IPO”: An IPO, or initial public offering, is the process by which a private company can go public by sale of its stocks to general public. It could be a new, young company or an old company that decides to be listed on an exchange and hence goes public.

In Meera Menon’s film “Equity,” a film that, I believe, is the first major film acted, written, directed and produced with and by women, you’ll hear a lot about IPOs. I thought it was a postal designation. I had to look it up. I learned a lot about them; so will you. Brace yourself.

This in no way is related to Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.” There are no “little” women here. Menon’s women are giants; you will hear them roar.

Instead of Mary, Jo, Beth and Amy, we get Naomi, Erin and Samantha in this crackling, powerful, intelligently crafted and sexy high-stakes Wall Street crime drama, written with power and clarity by Amy Fox. The ground is scattered with bits of glass and the ceiling, now gone, reveals a blue sky for further female forays into cinema, and, one hopes, into politics.

There are men drifting about: James Purefoy, Craig Bierko and comic Nate Corddry, a hapless newbie who gets sucker punched by the feds, all trying to keep their heads above water in this generation’s tidal wave of tall women.

We get a shot of Naomi Bishop (Emmy Award-winning “Breaking Bad’s” Anna Gunn) as she prowls the corridors of financial power. Naomi soon collides with Sarah Megan Thomas and Alysia Reiner.

Gunn, who was so good as Bryan Cranston’s beleaguered wife in “Breaking Bad,” gets to display her gifts here, as a 40-something fierce competitor with a reputation for ruffling male feathers. She’s a fighter, and as the boss of a millennial, mostly male crew, she has to constantly keep her teeth sharpened. In one powerful moment, dealing with stress, she chews out an aide for giving her a chocolate chip cookie with fewer chips than his.

Thomas, playing Erin Manning, is Nunn’s assistant, young, happily married and trying to hide the belly bump, knowing that dropping out for maternity leave will set her stranded at the bottom of the corporate ladder.

But Manning is no sweet victim. There lurks in that same belly strength and a few tricks. She enters the plot with a request for better pay; she will exit in style.

Samantha Ryan (Alysia Reiner of “Orange Is The New Black”) is Thomas’ old college roommate, now working for the feds downtown. Her teammate investigators, doing long hours to catch white collar thieves, think of her as “the razor.”

Ryan is required to play a game of cat and mouse with a young hedge funder who is suspected of insider trading. It’s a beautiful scene to watch as she pulls him in.

“Equity” qualifies as a crime thriller, but on a low scale. There are no car chases, dark rainy streets or grand final courtroom scenes. This is a film, not a television show full of commercial breaks and cliff-hangers. It’s about smart, well educated people who walk on the edge, who make a lot of money and drift carefully among one another, never knowing who is friend or foe.

There is a saying in Hollywood that applies well to Wall Street: “It’s not enough to succeed; your best friend must fail.”

J.P. Devine is a former stage and screen actor and author of “Will Write For Food.”

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