Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner
Director: Aaron Sorkin
Running Time: 140 mins
Molly’s Game is an American film about the true story of Molly Bloom, a former Olympic-level skier who entered into the world of high-stakes exclusive poker and gained millions of dollars, as well as the attention of the FBI.
This is a really good film. With legendary screenwriter Aaron Sorkin back at the height of his powers, and taking the director’s chair as well, Molly’s Game is an intensely riveting, rapid-moving and hugely exciting watch, featuring strong performances across the board and a brilliant blend of thrilling legal drama with high-stakes drama, all furthered by an impressive level of emotional depth to boot.
Sorkin has long been known for his ability to turn real-life stories into massively exciting, fully convincing and thoroughly riveting movie experiences, and Molly’s Game is yet another brilliant example of that. Although his screenplay may not follow the most orthodox of structures, jumping back and forth between present day and the past, it’s yet another stroke of genius that, although a little uncomfortable at first, pays off brilliantly come the end of the movie.
What’s more is that the film is teeming with quickfire and energetic dialogue everywhere you look, from the intense conversations and negotiations between Molly Bloom and her lawyer, to the charismatic and thrilling narration she gives throughout, giving the film the pulsating beat that makes it such a thrilling watch.
Real-life characters can also often be fairly hard to fully translate onto the big screen, but I think that’s another thing that works so well about Molly’s Game. Throughout, we’re given an incredibly deep and strong insight into the life and mind of Molly Bloom, not just surrounding her fierce ambition and competitiveness that takes her to this world of running high-stakes poker games, but also a fully-rounded look at her background and exactly why she has become the way she is today.
Jessica Chastain plays the character fantastically throughout, with the intense drive and intellect that fully defines the woman, and with such an intense performance, she’s absolutely brilliant to watch at every moment, dominating all of her moments on screen over a selection of more excellent turns from the likes of Idris Elba and Kevin Costner, further emphasising the strength of the main character.
Chastain’s mesmerising performance combines brilliantly with Sorkin’s equally mesmerising screenplay throughout, but not only does that make this film such an exciting and rapid-fire watch, it also offers up a truly riveting emotional insight into the lead character and the events at hand, all of which further deepens your interest throughout as you try to unlock what exactly went right and wrong throughout Bloom’s career for her to get to the point that she eventually ended up in.
Although its runtime somehow stands at 140 minutes, I can fully assure you that Molly’s Game feels a whole lot shorter. An adrenaline-filled, quickfire, intensely riveting and endlessly exciting thriller that combines expert screenwriting with a thrilling true story, furthered by strong performances across the board, you won’t be able to take your eyes off this movie at any point, and that’s why I’m giving it an 8.3 overall.