GOLD

PRE-SCREENING MUSINGS

Gold boasts of Matthew McConaughey and Stephen Gaghan—one an incredible actor, and the other an otherwise terrific storyteller. Add to that an otherwise brilliant cast, consisting of the likes of Bryce Dallas Howard, Édgar Ramírez, and Corey Stoll, among others, and you’re set with the expectation of a fine film to come.

Of course, this could just as easily be a trope heavy film, considering it is “inspired by true events.” But then again, we could also be proven wrong—the tagline does scream that out, after all, doesn’t it?

THE MOVIE

Gold may not be as lackluster as most films that are inspired by true events go. It doesn’t resort to the favorable tropes of its type and attempts to keep viewers engaged constantly. Top that off with an incredibly respectable physical transformation of Matthew McConaughey, who makes an earnest attempt to bring out the human within his character, and you end up with a decent enough watch.

Except, Gaghan’s latest could have been a whole lot better than the one we’ve been subjected to.

A clear Oscar-bait that feels like the result of a sordid love affair between Martin Scorcese and David O. Russell—it borrows most of its technical and visual tropes from the filmmakers above—the film wants to bring in a certain type of sizzle to its fictionalized interpretation of real happenings. However, halfway into any inspired trademark it tries to toy with, the makers almost seem to lose interest every time they flirt with clearly derived trademarks. Between the tonal inconsistency in its edit decisions and the disappointing feeling of inauthenticity that sweeps over you, it’s hard to say what hits you the most as a viewer.

Consider […] Syriana and […] Traffic, and one needs to know why the film needs to be judged on a higher standard.ANKIT OJHA

Of course, one could argue that this is nitpicking; that most modern art forms are inspired and derive their inspiration from everywhere. Additionally, if one were to break down its structural storytelling and execution, there wouldn’t be much to complain about. The talents of McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard and Édgar Ramírez, among others, are ably exploited in an undoubtedly competent work that’s backed by vision.

Now, if one were to credit this film to another, newer filmmaker, the above arguments would stand true, and despite its many flaws, it would be judged by a rather different standard. Unfortunately, in the director’s chair sits Gaghan who’s quite an able storyteller himself. Sure, he isn’t (any of the two) writers of the screenplay of this film. Consider the tension of Syriana, which he both wrote and directed, and the multi-faceted narrative of Soderbergh’s Traffic, though, and one would know why the film needs to be judged on a slightly higher standard.

VERDICT

There’s only so much McConaughey’s weight—both literal and metaphorical—can do to a film that fails to live up to its massive ambitions. Gold’s concept could’ve struck gold, but thanks to its lackluster writing and derivative filmmaking, it does exactly what one of its crucial characters would go ahead and do to its protagonist—rob you off, whilst also manipulating you to feel good about its decision by giving you just a little something it’s always promised.

Of course, it’s only when you take a few steps back when you realize that was never enough.

Watch the trailer here:

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Star Rating:

Plot

Kenny Wells is out of luck, and out of gold. This is when he bumps into geologist Michael Acosta to (literally) chase his dream—to mine some gold from deep within the forests of Indonesia.

Cast

Matthew McConaughey
Bryce Dallas Howard
Édgar Ramírez

Director

Stephen Gaghan

Rated

R

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Cast Matthew McConaughey
Bryce Dallas Howard
Édgar Ramírez
Director Stephen Gaghan
Star Rating

THE PLOT

Kenny Wells is out of luck, and out of gold. This is when he bumps into geologist Michael Acosta to (literally) chase his dream—to mine some gold from deep within the forests of Indonesia.

PRE-SCREENING MUSINGS

Gold boasts of Matthew McConaughey and Stephen Gaghan—one an incredible actor, and the other an otherwise terrific storyteller. Add to that an otherwise brilliant cast, consisting of the likes of Bryce Dallas Howard, Édgar Ramírez, and Corey Stoll, among others, and you’re set with the expectation of a fine film to come.

Of course, this could just as easily be a trope heavy film, considering it is “inspired by true events.” But then again, we could also be proven wrong—the tagline does scream that out, after all, doesn’t it?

THE MOVIE

Gold may not be as lackluster as most films that are inspired by true events go. It doesn’t resort to the favorable tropes of its type and attempts to keep viewers engaged constantly. Top that off with an incredibly respectable physical transformation of Matthew McConaughey, who makes an earnest attempt to bring out the human within his character, and you end up with a decent enough watch.

Except, Gaghan’s latest could have been a whole lot better than the one we’ve been subjected to.

A clear Oscar-bait that feels like the result of a sordid love affair between Martin Scorcese and David O. Russell—it borrows most of its technical and visual tropes from the filmmakers above—the film wants to bring in a certain type of sizzle to its fictionalized interpretation of real happenings. However, halfway into any inspired trademark it tries to toy with, the makers almost seem to lose interest every time they flirt with clearly derived trademarks. Between the tonal inconsistency in its edit decisions and the disappointing feeling of inauthenticity that sweeps over you, it’s hard to say what hits you the most as a viewer.

Consider […] Syriana and […] Traffic, and one needs to know why the film needs to be judged on a higher standard.ANKIT OJHA

Of course, one could argue that this is nitpicking; that most modern art forms are inspired and derive their inspiration from everywhere. Additionally, if one were to break down its structural storytelling and execution, there wouldn’t be much to complain about. The talents of McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard and Édgar Ramírez, among others, are ably exploited in an undoubtedly competent work that’s backed by vision.

Now, if one were to credit this film to another, newer filmmaker, the above arguments would stand true, and despite its many flaws, it would be judged by a rather different standard. Unfortunately, in the director’s chair sits Gaghan who’s quite an able storyteller himself. Sure, he isn’t (any of the two) writers of the screenplay of this film. Consider the tension of Syriana, which he both wrote and directed, and the multi-faceted narrative of Soderbergh’s Traffic, though, and one would know why the film needs to be judged on a slightly higher standard.

VERDICT

There’s only so much McConaughey’s weight—both literal and metaphorical—can do to a film that fails to live up to its massive ambitions. Gold’s concept could’ve struck gold, but thanks to its lackluster writing and derivative filmmaking, it does exactly what one of its crucial characters would go ahead and do to its protagonist—rob you off, whilst also manipulating you to feel good about its decision by giving you just a little something it’s always promised.

Of course, it’s only when you take a few steps back when you realize that was never enough.

Watch trailer here:

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

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