Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems ★★★★★

You know that feeling? In school when you have your grading cycle come to an end and you spend about a whole week, which can seem restless, scattering to fix grades and right wrongs you may have caused. The chaotic nature of jumping back and forth between personal enjoyment and gain while minimizing it for the sake of maximum efficiency and the constant reaching for just a hint of success to the point of which you find yourself with the walls closing in on you? Now imagine that cranked up to a breaking point by a DJ whom you just bought psychedelics off of as they pump you full of anxiety and terror!

Uncut Gems is an anomaly, it stays true to the Safdie's uncompromising vision as it kicks the door down and demands a voice instead of politely knocking and begging for recognition. While simultaneously opening said door to what I hope is a long lasting career in a more mainstream status for the both of them. Grit and realism is something that appears to come natural to the duo as they can weave this feeling of documentation and realism perfectly. As the plot seems to become more outlandish and more like a film it's somehow is able to fill itself with enough scenes of human interaction. Everyone talks over one another, everyone has a life outside of what is shown, everyone has a real weight that they all carry effortlessly as it becomes ever more clear to me the Safdie's are less interested in presenting characters and find a certain humanity in showing actual people. Which leads into the truth- people are dicks. Howard Ratner is not a good person, however, he is one charming asshole who steals the screen, Adam Sandler charges into the trenches of self absorption and a general uncompromising nature to perfection. At times it feels like you're watching the unstoppable force (Howard) crashing against the unmovable object (the towering odds and predicaments in which he finds himself in) or vice versa. While I can understand if you aren't big on actors screaming their lines, if so this movie might bug the shit out of you, here it just works to portray this person and this idea the true personification of "enough is never enough.". He's unhappy, his marriage isn't falling apart, it's just gone. There is not even a sliver of care between him and his wife rarely when they talk do they ever look at each other. He's unbearable yet you can't help but root for the guy on the basis of his jew charm alone.

There is no real room to breathe in this film as mentioned prior everyone is talking over one another and just in general EVERYONE IS TALKING, you hardly ever get a quiet moment and when you do, you cherish it. This isn't a negative in fact it's a positive as it really shows, A. The film making talent present and B. The world around this story. There's a non stop kinetic flow to the film which will leave people finishing the film and thinking "what the fuck did I just watch?" or even mid film "what the fuck is going on?". It's a full on attack at the senses as where Good Time worked more like a shotgun with pauses between where it would chip away slowly followed by its bursts of cataclysmic disaster. In Good Time this worked excellently to really show the growing desperation in Connie to help "rescue" his brother in an increasingly terrible scenario. Here its just scenario after scenario, we are dropped immediately into seeing Howard is stuck in quicksand and he tries to get out of it anyway he can. Scrapping together deals and bets while also trying to salvage something for himself, his family, and his business. Yet you're helpless and restrained to just watching him sink further and further into a pit he got himself in.


The finale leaves you breathless, shocked, disgusted, and a little cheated but as far as i'm concerned, you're suppose to feel as cheated as one of Howards clients. It's a fuck you, yet it feels deserved and earned and also oddly satisfying in one of the biggest twist endings (when it really isn't even a twist) of the year. No one and nothing escapes the claws of fortune and it really solidifies the big moral of the film; there ain't no rest for the wicked.

Uncut Gems.


Krimes liked these reviews