In a world where everything and everyone has a price, we see the real-life tragedy that befell oil baron John Paul Getty and his family, come to life in the brand new biopic and thriller by Ridley Scott.
The true life story details a period in the life of one of the men that at one point was considered to be among the richest in the world, John Paul Getty Snr, after he notoriously refused to pay ransom for his kidnapped grandson, John Paul Getty III.
The role of Getty Snr, now played by Christopher Plummer was marred by controversy after Kevin Spacey was pulled out and replaced with Plummer, following widespread allegations of sexual harassment.
In my opinion, everything worked out for the best - Scott got to work with his initial choice, which was Plummer, and Plummer certainly comes to the party as the frugal old multimillionaire.
Also worthy of note is Michelle Williams (Gail Harris), who I believe brilliantly embodied the role of the distraught mother.
She behaved, as I imagine, as a typical woman who woke up one day to find out that her son was missing - erratic, emotional and determined to get her child back.
I also enjoyed the old-school feel of the film. There seems to have been a great deal of effort made to make it realistic - ranging from the film’s colouring, the wardrobe and hair of the actors, to even the cars that were in fashion at the time.
I loved how stylish Williams’s character looked in the film.
I am a sucker for languages and I absolutely loved how Italian and English was used interchangeably in the film.
I was a bit uncertain, however, about Mark Wahlberg as Fletcher Chase, Getty Snr and Harris’s security adviser. I somehow wanted a little more... something from him.
One of the main aspects that was a bit of a turn-off was lack of historical accuracy. I know and acknowledge the importance of allowing creatives, even in film, the artistic licence to bend the truth so that it fits with the story that they are trying to tell.
However, with biopics particularly, I think the truth must be reflected as accurately as possible.
The timeline of Getty’s death and Paul III’s release by kidnappers is something I feel the film-makers shouldn’t have played around with. It must be said, though, that Getty Snr’s death is dramatic enough. I also didn’t like how the film seemed to stay too long in certain places.
All in all, the film is a solid product and enjoyable. If you get nothing else from it, what you should obtain from this cautionary tale is the impact that complete and utter devotion to money will have on your life.
* All the Money in the World is in cinemas from today.