I am not familiar with poker at all. In fact, when I told my boyfriend I had no idea what a Royal Flush was, he looked at me as if I was from another planet. I’ve never played poker. Perhaps because it’s a high-stake game. Maybe because I know I would get addicted to it. Besides, I’m an awful liar. An excellent recipe for disaster if you ask me. That said, I was very curious about Molly’s Game. The film stars Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba and is based on a true story. Molly Bloom used to be the Poker Princess of Hollywood, organising high-stake games in fancy hotels. Celebrities and rich business people flocked to her table and gambled away millions of dollars. All went well, until she got caught. Molly’s Game shows us all about how Molly got started, how she reached the top and how it all fell apart.
Story-driven but not slow-paced
One of the things I liked about Molly’s Game is that it is a story-based film that never truly slows down. While there are quieter moments, and not many actions scenes, somehow it remains entertaining. I think one of the reasons for this is that the story does not linger in one place. We see Molly’s life as a professional athlete. We see her building up her empire. Yet at the same time, we are also shown her legal battle and struggles. The most interesting parts are when the rich and powerful play poker. Let’s face it, we all want to catch a glimpse of what these powerful people are up to in their spare time. Furthermore, it is interesting to see how a female dominates these powerful men in their own game. As the film suggests, Molly loves to have power over these powerful men. Of course, that does not always work out for her. But exactly that is what makes this film so powerful. It’s a story about success as much as it is a story about failure.
The main reason why Molly’s Game works so well, apart from the excellent writing, is because the cast is brilliant. Jessica Chastain exudes confidence yet knows exactly when to be fragile. She is insanely witty and looks fantastic, which makes her role as the Poker Princess all the more believable.
The first time Idris Elba graced the screen, women in the row behind me sighed and basically wet their panties. Idris is fantastic as Molly’s lawyer. The chemistry between the two lead characters is nice to watch as well. There is no romance involved, yet it is clear Chastain and Elba work well together.
The real names of celebrities who actually played at Molly’s table is kept a secret. However, I did enjoy Michael Cera’s performance as Player X. Apparently, his character is basically Tobey Maguire, who is not as nerdy and nice as he seems. Cera is subtle in Player X’s admiration for Molly, yet when he can no longer control his jealousy, he has no problem screwing Molly over. And let’s not forget Kevin Costner who has a small role as Molly’s dominant father. Basically, the cast is what makes this film even better.
I loved Molly’s Game because of the great writing, the story-driven plot that never gets dull and the fantastic actors. I also loved that the film is based on a true story. Naturally, I looked up which celebrities were actually involved in these poker games. If you still have to watch it, just imagine Tobey McGuire, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck chilling at the table. Molly’s Game is not an action-packed film, but certainly entertaining enough. I definitely recommend seeing it in theatres, even if you know nothing about poker, like yours truly.