MOVIE REVIEW – “Jessica has something unique, a mix of sensuality and strength that also comes from the real Molly Bloom,” says Aaron Sorkin, the director of Molly’s Game. He first appeared behind the camera after writing the screenplays for The Social Network and the TV shows The White House and The Newsroom. Molly’s Game tells the story of the beautiful Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) who is pursued by the FBI who wants her to give information on its mafia players. She gets the help of a lawyer (Idris Elba), who is not always too enthusiastic and also the support of his father (Kevin Costner).
Nowadays online casinos are gaining popularity as you can play and win real money from the comfort of your home. Still, Molly’s Game is about real life gambling in the past and the true story of a gifted young woman who became the queen of a gigantic empire of clandestine gambling in Hollywood. Trained for ski championship by her father (who is a psychologist), she suffered two serious falls before releasing the sticks. When she is arrested in the middle of the night by the FBI, the second part of her life – that of “Princess of Poker” – which became a bestseller book written by herself – is then told to us at the same time as to her lawyer: Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba).
A dangerous game
In 2004, the young Molly Bloom arrived in Los Angeles. Simple assistant, she supports her boss who meets weekly poker players around illegal parties. Unceremoniously, she decides to set up her own circle: the entry bet will be $ 250,000. Soon, Hollywood stars, millionaires, and great athletes all arrive to play poker at high stakes.
The success is immediate and dizzying. Filled by FBI agents determined to bring her down, threatened by the Russian mafia decided to take control of her business, and harassed by celebrities worried that she will betray them, Molly Bloom finds herself caught between all the fires…
Sorkin’s directing debut
Aaron Sorkin, the brilliant screenwriter, is directing his own script for the first time, which is as always, very well put together. He adapted the best-selling Molly’s Game published in the United States in 2014 written by the real Molly Bloom (in which some famous names have been changed). While we do not understand everything from Molly’s voice-over, still, the story is so brilliant and dizzying, that those, who are not hardcore poker players can get still easily into it.
Indeed, the original story of Molly becomes a moving and clever film, which goes to full speed, passing from the past to the present, and exposes deeply the power of money and celebrity, the senseless escalation followed by the fall of rich and greedy players. Jessica Chastain is the perfect incarnation of this very intelligent and beautiful woman, who has certainly made several bad choices in her life, but she still could make a place for herself in a world of often dangerous men.
Surrounded by men
Surrounded by a perfect Idris Elba, Michael Cera and an awesome Kevin Costner (formidable as a demanding father, with whom we just loved an intimate scene of explanation with his daughter on a bench in Central Park in New York), she still leads the game, the show, the whole movie.
As its main protagonist, Molly’s Game is a smart movie, which leads the viewers by the nose, seducing and convincing them all the way during its 2 hours and 20 minutes. Yes, Molly’s Game is quite long, but it is also so full of twists and exciting that it might be thought pure invention if it was not a completely true story.