MOVIE REVIEW – Molly’s Game
Review by Geoff Jenke
MOLLY’S GAME is based on the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), a young, charismatic Olympic-hopeful skier who was forced to abandon athletics after a devastating injury. With law school on hold, Molly takes a summer job that introduces her to a new endeavor requiring similar discipline and drive: running the world’s most exclusive high-stakes underground poker game. The deep pockets of Hollywood royalty, sports stars and business titans give her a decade of glitzy, glamorous success, but Molly attracts the wrong kind of attention when she inadvertently engages members of the Russian mob at her table. Her streak comes to a grinding halt when she’s arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Facing criminal charges, her only ally is her reluctant defence lawyer (Idris Elba), who discovers that there’s much more to Molly Bloom than the salacious tabloid stories reveal.
While we here in Australia will not be familiar with this story, it is never the less an entertaining and enjoyable film. Perhaps it is best we don’t know the story and let the film sweep us along. Jessica Chastain (The Zoo Keepers Wife, The Martian, Interstellar) as Molly is a force to be reckoned with but the real star is Kevin Costner in a support role as Molly’s father. He drives Molly hard early in the film and then becomes more sympathetic as the story rolls along.
The film is compelling and really well told and has one glued to the screen for the duration. If there is a slight issue with the film, it is that at 2 hours 20 minutes, it is a bit overlong.
The movie travels back and forward in time but is never confusing. It is Aaron Sorkin’s first film as a director. Aaron is better known for his screenwriting, having written Moneyball, The Social Network and many more. He also wrote script for Molly’s Game.
The movie may not be perfect, but it is certainly a perfect way to spend a few hours to learn more about Molly Bloom and a world that we, the viewer, will never get to experience. The fact it is based on a true story makes it even more engaging and compelling.