Uncut Gems Review: Great Performance by Adam Sandler

Uncut Gems Review: Great Performance by Adam Sandler

Uncut Gems Review – The Benny and Josh Safdie brothers do not give up the characters who get into trouble and try to deal with the various difficulties that come in a row in their films written with Ronald Bronstein. New York jeweler Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), the main character of their new Netflix movie “Uncut Gems,” is no different. He still has unpaid debts due to his passion for betting and the creditors are on his way … Aron (Eric Bogosian), his money-lender relative, sends two collectors ready to use violence … But Ratner doesn’t take threats too seriously. His goal is to make a “big hit”. He wants to sell opal stone from Africa at a very high price at the auction and does not stop betting.


In the meantime, let’s note that the story takes place in 2012, and with the presence of NBA player Kevin Garnett and musician The Weeknd, who retired in 2016, they added a different texture to the film.
The private life of the fictional character Ratner, who is included in the reality of recent history, is also very turbulent. She lives apart with her husband (Idina Menzel), tries not to break with her children, and has an emotional fluctuating relationship with her young lover Julia (Julia Fox). Howard Ratner, like the other main characters we’ve seen in the Safdie brothers’ previous films, does what people know, not what people say or what is right. Sometimes he is very good at making things difficult …
Uncut Gems Review – Throughout the film, the camera is mostly with him, but it is not easy for us to stand with Howard emotionally … We try to understand what is going on for a long time, we try to solve the cause of his problems. Why can’t he pay his debts? Why does his wife hate him? Arno, with whom he sits face-to-face in a family environment, instead of talking to him, why is he chasing two bullies?
Safdie Brothers leave the answer to these questions to us and they just follow him … When we look at his living standards, it is certain that he is at least a well-to-do person and he will get along without the passion for betting. We know how other people see him, but we don’t really know how we should see him … Especially in the final episode we get very confused … Is Howard Ratner someone who deserves everything that happens to him? Or is he a victim of people’s prejudices, impatience, and evil? Is he a great bookie? A greedy gambler? Is he a good person with weaknesses like all of us, especially his passion for betting? Especially when thinking about the answer to this last question, it is worth remembering that the term “uncut gem” is used for people who have positive and beautiful features in contrast to what it looks like from the outside.
Safdie Brothers also got confused at the end of their previous movie “The Heist” (Good Time) and made us look at the main character from a different perspective. They’re doing a similar trick here.
Uncut Gems Review – I think the Safdie brothers like to leave the audience in a dilemma about the characters. Some movies are based on the main character’s indecisions and dilemmas. Aside from his indecision between Julia and his wife, Howard Ratner’s problems and contradictions are not caused by indecision or dilemmas. A character who goes straight on his nose and follows his instincts, rather than doing the right thing. It aims to make bigger money on the bet rather than pay off the debt. In fact, it can be said that Aron lived through the real dilemma … Thanks to Eric Bogosian’s great acting, we feel that Aron could not guess what to do with Ratner and he was confused … Our situation is not different from him …
I think the difference between the Safdie brothers is exactly here … They like to confuse us with morbid and repulsive characters who have their own justifications and justifications, rather than an ordinary anti-hero …


We experience the same confusion in Julia. Julia (Julia Fox) does something that at one point in the movie makes Howard very angry. But the Safdie brothers, instead of judging, look at Julia objectively and leave the decision to us … “Uncut Gems” is a movie in which everyone can express different opinions and judgments about the characters when you chat with your friends …
While watching “Good Time”, I loved the movie as I understood the real problem of the Safdie brothers towards the finals … I experienced the same in “Uncut Gems”. Especially in the last minutes, one does not know what to feel or what to think. I guess the Safdis want exactly that … They don’t want the audience to judge the characters, on the contrary, they confuse us even more. When we consider the sharp moralism of mainstream crime cinema and the distinction between the good and the bad, the attitude of the Safdis is important … I think this is the main point that makes their cinema valuable for me …
It is possible to see the traces of the Safdies’ approach in Martin Scorsese’s crime films. Let’s not forget the tradition of the American type B crime movie that Scorsese was also inspired by. The Safdis’ cinema is rooted in the spirit of those B movies that do not care about the moral codes of the big studios … Especially when they shoot crime movies, the Coen Brothers follow the same tradition. The most important features that distinguish Safdies from Scorsese and Coen Brothers are their storytelling techniques.
Safdies don’t give up the hand-held camera following their characters on the “crime scene,” arrhythmic quick-cut montage. Especially in the noisy scenes, we get tired as much as watching a “news movie”, and we experience Ratner’s troubles one on one.
Uncut Gems Review – One of the distinctive features of Safdis’ style is their musical preferences that contrast with their realistic styles … Daniel Lopatin‘s electronic-timbre lyrical music with whom they worked together in “Good Time” takes us to another realm in many stages … makes you feel the existence of a mystery, the secret of which cannot be known.


Right from here, we can move on to the “precious stone” that shapes the story of the movie … Because there is a connection between the soundtrack of the movie and the stone. Let’s remember the opening scene … The camera, which approaches the turmoil outside the mine in Ethiopia from an aerial view, makes a close-up plan to the leg of the injured miner, follows the two workers and moves deep into the cave. Lopatin’s mysterious “psychedelic” music begins as the camera approaches the colorful, glowing spots when the boulder with opal stones is removed from where it belongs. After wandering for a while in the “micro-hidden realm” inside the stone, we move on to images of Ratner’s colonoscopy. When we first see Ratner, he sleeps like an innocent baby, unaware of everything. We can’t see him like that again until the finale throughout the movie. In the finale, we make a similar journey from inside the stone to another realm … It can be said that the Safdie brothers emphasize a transcendent reality they see above all the events in the film during these “micro journeys” and complete a circle.
The stone can be seen as the main metaphor of the film, beyond just a mysterious image. When we think about who the stone works best or who does the most damage, the opening scene fits into place. Actually, Howard Ratner is no different from the Western-Northern rich, who cannot get enough of Africa’s aboveground and underground wealth … When he sees the stone that reaches him in the dead fish, he cannot think of anything but money. NBA player Kevin Garnett, who is in the store at the same time, is almost fascinated when he sees the stone, establishing an emotional bond with it. He doesn’t even care about his material value … Although Garnett enters the film as a side character that makes Ratner’s work more difficult, he comes to a very different place, especially in the finale … The contrast between Aron is also important …


Master cinematographer Darius Khondji generally preferred a raw white light indoors and outdoors. The colors are predominantly pale … There are also vibrant and warm colors in between, but the realistic style stands out. Especially in the close-ups of the male actors, it seems as if there is naturalistic realism in the faces … Obviously, the Safdie brothers did not want to make anyone look more beautiful and handsome from the outside …
I really liked the whole cast, especially Adam Sandler. Sandler seems to have the best performance of his career.
With its shaky camera, tiring flow, antipathic characters and confusing moral problems, Uncut Gems is not a movie that everyone can love, but it is the product of a solid, personality cinema.

Uncut Gems Review & Trailer;

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