All The Money In The World Movie Review

Jan 05, 2018, 08:30 IST | Johnson Thomas

This film is loosely based on the real 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, the grandson of miserly billionaire J.P. Getty, by Italian mobsters

All The Money In The World
All The Money In The World

All The Money In The World
Drama; U/A

Cast: Christopher Plummer, Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer, Timothy Hutton and Romain Duris
Director: Ridley Scott
Rating: Rating

This film is loosely based on the 'real' 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer), the grandson of miserly billionaire J.P. Getty (Christopher Plummer ), by Italian mobsters. The ransom amount demanded was a cool $17 million- which JP could have well been earning from subsidiary interest alone but alas he was unwilling to part with his money while his son's wife, Gail(Michelle Williams) and custodian of his four grandchildren had no money given that her divorce settlement gave her custody in lieu of waiving all rights to the much flaunted moolah. J.P. instead, entrusts the rescue of his grandson to his #1 security man, ex-CIA agent Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) but the initial reports suggest that this kidnapping may well have been a hoax. With her son's life in the balance, Gail and Fletcher become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals whether blood is thicker than money or the other way around?

David Scarpa's screenplay was based on the 1995 book by John Pearson titled “Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty.” The timeline here jumps across several years to highlight the important moments defining the Patriarch's mercenary values. After Paul is kidnapped, the scene shifts to Saudi Arabia in 1948, where JP's acquisitive instincts lead him to a potential increment in fortunes. The narrative continues to jump around, keeping us abreast of the back story while deepening the atmosphere and gathering fuel for the sombre dramatics. Paul's opening narration hints at rich people being different, money having deformed their minds- but J.P.'s behaviour suggests a stunted emotional growth defining his actions in relation to family.

It's a kind of old-fashioned story-telling that stays true to it's period. The film is shot on real locations and the wide-format shadow darkened cinematography allows for a greater depth and drama. 88-year-old Christopher Plummer's turn as the infamous J.P. is so stupendously enveloping that we begin feeling that the character and the actor are one and the same man. Such is the authority he confers with his amazing performance. Michelle Williams is gritty while Mark Wahlberg plays busy without much warmth. Scott's control over the medium is seen in the opening sequence itself where Paul is seen gambolling through the dark side of Rome with nary a care - to suggest that he is both young and unwary of what is to come. And as the story progresses in leaps, it becomes clearer that this is a far more complex, intimate, brutal and darkly funny observation about the rich and their money-crazed riposte of sinister entitlement. Tension and suspense though are not as sharp as they should have been. This movie may not have developed into a masterwork but Scott must be given credit for damage control after having to remove Kevin Spacey( in the eponymous role no less) following his #Metoo fall from grace - when the film was almost 80 % complete.

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