John Caldwell Reviews 'Gold'
What this film’s plot lacks in depth, Matthew McConaughey makes up for in tenfold with the most believable and diverse role of his career. In a transformation not seen since Charlize Theron’s role in Monster, McConaughey went ‘all in’ on this one and it paid off big time!
The film is VERY loosely based on the true story of the 1993 Bre-X mining scandal, when a massive gold deposit was supposedly discovered in the jungles of Indonesia. If you don’t know the story, I strongly suggest that you do not research it before watching the movie as it will detract from the element of surprise, which I think is the best part of this film.
The writers and directors seem to have made the decision to sensationalise the plot beyond any recognition of the original story, saving us from what ultimately would have been one hell of a boring story! Instead, we get a smidge of the true story wrapped up in a dramatic tale of American greed, highlighting just how blind Wall Street can be when pockets are being lined.
Gold has all the ingredients of a great film. A down and out ‘all American guy’ follows his dream against all the odds, giving us a rarely seen insight into the uber wealthy world of Wall Street. But never fear, the fortune doesn’t last long for the tall poppies as we see it topple over. Suddenly, you will find yourself in a crime adventure film focusing on greed, corruption and the dark side of politics and bribery. If you love a rom-com you’ll be satisfied with the romantic undertone throughout the film adding a dimension that I think is completely necessary.
McConaughey shines in his role as Kenny Wells (based on David Walsh), an unlucky down and out business man/mining prospector. Physically, the role required a complete transformation to see a bald, pot-bellied middle aged McConaughey, whose love of beer is matched only by his obsessive need for recognition. If you can’t imagine McConaughey taking this form in place of his trademark abs, then that is one reason you have to see this film. He is truly remarkable and will keep you engrossed throughout the film with a stunning performance.
In a magnificent performance as McConaughey’s love interest, Bryce Dallas Howard proves yet again that she is one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood. She slips into this role with grace and is so believable in playing Kay Wells. Originally, this role was set to be played by Michelle Williams. I think Michelle would have butchered the part in comparison to the perfect delivery of Dallas Howard, she is simply perfect and completely lovable.
The film is definitely entertaining and will have you laughing and almost crying at times, just falling short of pulling on any major emotions. I think it’s well worth the watch. Although, despite being a great film, it won’t be winning any major awards. But on the other hand, Matthew McConaughey’s performance is definitely Oscar quality and shows as always, that he is Hollywood gold!
3 thumbs up