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TIFF 2019 Film Review: “Uncut Gems” (2019) ★★★★★


Gambling is another severe form of addiction wherein if a person invests not only his time, money, soul and even his life, it can cause the worst-case scenario. And when self-awareness disappears replaced by adrenaline rush in the blood, bad things will happen faster than the blink of an eye.

“Uncut Gems” is an electrifying and emotionally charged crime thriller you don’t see much often nowadays. It follows Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a charismatic and heavy risk-taker New York jeweler who, after seventeen months of waiting, gets a special stone from Ethiopia worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. While its value may be higher than anticipated, the man sets an auction date for a massive sale hoping to get as much money as possible. However, his never-ending debt and ability to attract trouble to himself is never-ending until the moment when he begins a dangerous game that can put at risk everything he has worked hard for – including his life.

Directed by Bennie and Josh Safdie, “Uncut Gems” is a heart-stopping thriller that literally won’t let you get up until its closing credit. To avoid giving away much information from the key plot, it’s important to note that its dynamic atmosphere and fastly unfolding storyline will leave you no time to breathe. From start to end, the film manages to hypnotize the viewer through the realistic world of gambling, games, affair, fight, gang members, and even basketball. The whole film is like a roller-coaster of emotions where I personally began shaking towards the middle of the film as I knew certain events were inevitable where, more or less, the sensitive viewers may stop watching due to the failure of handling his or her nerves. “Uncut Gems” is nerve-wracking which, in its own way, is a jewel of the cinematic world as well.

In the end, “Uncut Gems” would not work without the absolutely mind-blowing performance delivered by Adam Sandler. Every scene he is in he owns like a rock king. His facial expressions, whether delivering the lines, walking, gestures is like painting a character on the wall that cannot be removed. Everything till this point Sandler has delivered is no longer relevant as what he has done in “Uncut Gems” will be his career-best performance. As for the film, I have no intention of forcing on you my opinion since I count on yours more than mine, my dear reader. But make no mistake, this film is like one of the most exciting train trips you can ever take. Just do not miss it. Because by missing it, you miss an opportunity to become a part of the history created by two talented directors and Adam Sandler that cannot be missed at any cost.

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