By Declan McGuire ‘20
The movie “Uncut Gems” shows Adam Sandler in a role that I would say you have never seen him in before. He’s not playing the same character like he does in every film, he doesn’t get the happy ending, and he isn’t even really someone you root for, more just someone you feel bad for.
In the film, Sandler plays Howard Ratner, a sleazy jeweler who has nothing going good for him it seems. Ratner is going through a divorce, struggles to be a good father, can’t please his customers or coworkers, and definitely won’t stop gambling.
When he stumbles upon these uncut gems from Ethiopia, he thinks his luck will turn around. Hoping to make anywhere from $700,000-$1 million, things start to look up for Howard, until they quickly don’t.
From the start of the film, he is in trouble with Arno, his brother in-law, because he owes him money. But due to his addiction to gambling, instead of paying Arno back when he gets the money, he goes out and tries to make more. When Ratner comes in contact with Kevin Garnett, he shows him the uncut gem, and Garnett immediately feels connected to it and feels as if he needs it.
Hoping to hit the jackpot with that stone, Howard doesn’t sell it to him, but lends it to him in exchange for his championship ring as collateral.
To no one’s surprise, Howard goes and pawns the ring for some quick cash, and places a huge bet on Garnett. When it looks like maybe things are going up, they quickly go down. His wife begins to get upset with him, Arno and his goons kidnap him and cancel the bet, and on top of that his girlfriend and him get into a huge fight.
At this point everything just keeps getting worse for him, and honestly you just want to see one thing go good for him, but you don’t. Still not having paid his debts, things spiral downhill for him. The uncut gem he would have made a million on, ends up being worth less than $200,000. His wife begins to hate him more, his kids begin to turn on him, and he reaches his breaking point.
Or so we think. I won’t get into the specifics here, but I will be honest and tell you that if that doesn’t interest you then the last 20-25 minutes of this film will. I truly believe that the last chunk of this movie might be the best ending I have ever seen to any film.
The constant emotional rollercoaster continues for Howard, and the stakes have never been higher than they are now. If this all works out in his favor, he’ll be at the top of the world, but if it doesn’t, his world will crumble before him.
I highly recommend this film to anyone out there that is looking for something new to watch. I try not to hype movies I like up too much because I believe it is better to undersell then oversell, but I don’t think there is any way I can undersell this masterpiece and jaw-dropping ending that the Safdie brothers created.
All in all, if you have the time, definitely rent or buy this movie On Demand or Amazon or wherever you can find it. My final score for the film is an 8.8/10.