Movie: Molly’s Game
My Rating: 2 stars
I think I must have approached this movie in the wrong way. From what I heard, people seemed to think that it was very interesting and impressive. But, oh brother, did I ever find this movie to be a chore. When I sat down to watch this movie, I was expecting to see a fictionalized true story about a brilliant entrepreneurial woman who was using her wits to get ahead in a man’s world. (Or something tonally like that). But, I was really expecting too much from this character.
This story is about Molly Bloom, a woman running an underground, high- stakes poker game for a group of famous and wealthy clients. We witness her rise, and her inevitable fall, when her illegal activities are exposed and ultimately prosecuted. It kinda broke my heart to watch this movie present Molly, as a fancy business lady. Now, I know that running illegal card games is pretty universally considered to be a tacky undertaking. But, the screenwriters seemed to be genuinely trying to make the audience feel like our protagonist was a sophisticated genius, and that this undertaking was a classy affair. But, it really just felt like a cliched, tawdry mess to me.
I think the part that I found to be the most distasteful was how the script was really trying to force the theme of ethics. And, it felt like shameless pandering. The writers were trying to make a whole meal out of the fact that Molly didn’t want to reveal the names of her clients in the discovery process of her criminal trial. And, then they doubled down with her relationship with her lawyer. He doesn’t want to take on her case at first, but he is gradually convinced that she is a decent lady who is doing the right thing, so her case must have merit. It feels very contrived. And, I’m not seeing anything that distinguishes this case from any other illegal gambling criminal case. But again, maybe I read the tone of the film incorrectly from the outset.
It will come as no surprise to you that I do not recommend this movie. Of course, I’m fully willing to listen to anyone else’s arguments to the contrary. Because, while I found this movie to be unbearably trite, I do have the feeling in my gut that I’m treating it a bit unfairly. But then, I’ve never claimed that my reviews were anything other than my own, subjective opinions. So, I’d be very interested in hearing what other people thought about this film.