Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, Bryce Dallas Howard, Corey Stoll
Director: Stephen Gaghan
Kenney Wells (McConaughey) is a man with ambition and determination. His father was a great business man who prospected gold, but he finds himself saddled with bills and no one who will work with him. That is, til he approaches Micheal Acosta (Ramirez), when he has a dream that there’s gold waiting in Indonesia and he thinks that Michael might just know where it is.
It plays like a rags to riches story, but intercut into the film, we see that Wells is telling someone the story, like he’s being investigated. We see that things might not be as straight forward as they seem.
This is a really interesting film, not least because of McConaughey’s physical transformation, which takes him from heart throb status to over weight and balding. It’s loosely based on a scandal from the early 90’s, in which Bre-X claimed to be sitting on a gold mine, and committed a huge fraud through falsely raising it’s share price, but for the course of this film, we’re not sure what really happened and who is innocent. I also found the business aspect quite interesting, from the mining in Indonesia to the board rooms of America, and I liked Wells dynamism and fast talking.
In some ways, it’s a film about the little guy sticking it to the big banks who won’t talk to him until he has money, and then fawn on him. I like the way that you’re not really sure whether Wells is being played by everyone, including his business partner, or if perhaps he’s playing dumb in order to manipulate everyone’s greed. At heart, that’s what the film is about, greed. And how foolish it makes us.
See It If: you like McConnaughey performances, this one is said to be his favourite role yet, or if you like puzzle-like stories or rags to riches. Very interesting film.