Originally Published on Salty Popcorn
MOLLY’S GAME is no exception. The primary plot beats of the true events are kept alive, but the smaller, finite moments are executed in the most Sorkin of ways, and I wouldn’t want any other version. We follow the story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), an ex-Olympian who fell from fame after a severe injury, but, given the fiery determination of her personality, she doesn’t let that stop her from rising amongst the ranks. While her career may no longer be skiing, Molly still manages to find success through high stakes poker. We intercut between her rise in power as well as the court case she gets wrapped up in a number of years later, aided by her (albeit fictionalized) lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba).
The narrative goes in a lot of different directions without allowing time for the audience to catch up. In a lot of regards, I respect that. It doesn’t look down on the viewers, but rewards their attention, however there is a sort of overbearing feeling that looms large throughout. So much information is thrown your way that it’s easy to get lost, and within that confusion, character motives, and in some cases character relevance, isn’t clear. The opening of this film is fantastic. I want to get that out of the way. But it’s so much information and voice over thrown at you all in the one go and it takes a moment to get a grasp on where you’re at. You’re half a step behind before it even begins, but once you catch up, the rest is worth the effort.
Sorkin’s approach to directing is admirable, and he’s certainly making a step in the right direction towards a long lasting career behind the camera, but one can’t help but feel he’s better at being behind the computer instead. There’s nothing necessarily awful about the way he directs this film, and I’m sure with more time given to the craft he’s be bound to improve and perhaps even stand alongside some of the all time greats, but for now, a lot of it feels… bland.
MOLLY’S GAME doesn’t get everything right, but it gets enough right to work wonders. There’s a moment when the world’s greatest on-screen dad, Papa Steve Harrington from STRANGER THINGS, makes an out-of-the-blue appearance, and the crowd of critics at the screening collectively gasped. If that isn’t enough of a selling point… well… then you’re just missing out.
You May Also Like: