Risk takers will continue to do what they know best because playing it safely brings no thrills and in the film Uncut Gems all the winnings come with their losses and conflict. Uncut Gems directed by brothers Josh and Benny Safdie is, in my opinion, a hyperactive film that won’t turn down it’s blaring volume in both dialogue and action. This isn’t a slight towards the entertainment value the film provides because I was entertained except up until the ending which I’ll discuss. We all know Adam Sandler for his comedic roles in films like Mr. Deeds, Big Daddy, and Happy Gilmore to name a few but he’s done dramatic roles and one of them that comes to mind is Spanglish which I don’t recall well enough to assess if it was a good film or not since I’ve seen it well over a decade ago. Having said that, Sandler has shown the acting range outside his usual comedic roles to demonstrate another side of him to new viewers who were only familiar with his comedic roles, and in this movie, he displays a proficient performance that has already accumulated a lot of nominations and some wins. Now onto my takes on the film. In Uncut Gems Sandler plays Howard Ratner an adrenaline junkie diamond dealer who lives his life on the edge knowing that danger is inevitable. Howard has an addiction to gambling specifically sports betting and when he receives a vibrant black opal gem from Ethiopia he’s elated. In his mind, he’s going to keep it auction it so he can cash in big. Anyways, he feels connected to it so much due to the fact he himself is Jewish and that Ethiopian Jews discovered it and this surprises NBA legend, Kevin Garnett. At the time the film’s storyline which is 2012 Garnett’s playing for the Boston Celtics and in the playoffs. So with the stakes at an all-time high for his team and his performance he needs a good luck charm so an exchange between the two happens, his 2008 championship ring for the uncut gem. With Howard saying “yes” this the first of many mistakes and terrible decisions he makes over the next 135 minutes. From being in debt to loan shark goons who show up to his shop that has double doors that buzz patrons in, to his wife who despises him due to his gambling lifestyle and many more frenzy filled situations he puts himself is worthwhile to witness. One thing is for sure, Howard has trouble restoring balance to his life even if finds himself on the winning end. Furthermore, Howard is a calculated character but he puts himself in situations with people who can put simply kill him and he’s aware of that but he isn’t afraid and will run towards danger to get the outcome he wants by any cost. This film will cause the viewer to feel alongside Howard a sense of panic and stress due to the tension, chaos, and loud musical score that is at times throughout the film jarring. The dialogue even though filled with F-bombs has an authentic feel within it in the sense it doesn’t feel scripted even though we know it is, it feels more realistic. Scenes especially in his jewelry shop is a good representation of this. It’s as if someone walked into a jewelry store and patrons were arguing with the manager/managers. In terms of the way the ending came about, it was sudden and I wasn’t surprised with the outcome because everything Howard has done since the beginning of the film lead to his downfall and I left the theater wanting more. I still felt the story could off added a few more minutes with the people closest to him reacting to the circumstances that occurred. Kevin Garnett who from my understanding hasn’t done any real film or TV roles even though he was playing himself had a great rapport with Adam Sandler and they complemented each other well when it was scenes just between the two of them. Overall, it was an entertaining performance from Adam Sandler with a solid storyline. This was a crime thriller to close out the year. Would I rewatch it? Yes. Watching whether it being a film or TV series over again always brings a new conclusion to a viewer so maybe I’ll come across something I’ve might have missed the first time around. Leave a like if you’d liked reading this, comment if you have any input, and follow my page so you can updated on my future posts. As always peace, keep it real and have a Happy New Year.
My rating for the film 4/5, B+