Wednesday, April 11, 2018

All the Money in the World - The Story Behind Kidnapping of J. Paul Getty's Grandson

While I was on the flight home using Garuda last Saturday, I had the chance to watch few movies as the duration of the flight was a little over 7 hours. I was a bit undecided to see which movie first and after few minutes of scrolling back and forth, I finally chose this one as it had few nominations in Golden Globe and in Academy Awards. And I happen to know that the movie already played in Indonesian cinemas sometime ago where I did not get the chance to see it. So here goes my views of the film.

Brief Story Line

The movie was set in the year 1973 where John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer - Granite Flats TV series etc) was kidnapped in the streets of Rome. One of the kidnappers named Cinquanta (Romain Durais) later on called John's mother Gail (Michelle Williams - The Greatest Showman, Manchester by the Sea etc) and asked for a huge ransom which Gail immediately told them not possible as she had no money. But the kidnapper insist that she should get it from John's grandfather, the richest man in the world: J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer - The Sound of Music, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo etc).

Despite her heavy reluctance, Gail had no choice but to seek J. Paul Getty's help for money. But instead of getting the help she wanted, Getty completely disagreed to pay for the ransom. He did however, enlisted the assistance from his fixer, a former CIA operative who now worked as Getty's negotiator named Fletcher Chace (Mark Wahlberg - Daddy's Home 2 & its prequel, Deepwater Horizon etc). With nowhere else to turn to, Gail had no choice but to "cooperate" together with the tough Chace to look for ways of finding John and save him from the abductors. Meanwhile John's condition worsened while in captivity.

With time running out and the persistence of Getty not to agree to John's ransom due to his personal reasons, would Gail & Chace efforts to negotiate with the kidnappers be successful? Could John return home safely? Find them all in this thriller drama movie.

End of Brief Story Line

Well this movie was just like I expected. It was filled with dramatic moments with some thrilling moment involving the kidnapping. It had a duration of > 2 hours and for me personally, the earlier part where there was a lot of flash backs scenes started off quite OK, but then it felt too much (a bit draggy to my opinion). The story itself which I understand was based on true events was amazing and really surprising. Of course the biggest surprise would be the fact that J. Paul Getty could be such a unique (I think the correct word would be totally stingy and calculative) person. If I had not known that this was a true story, I would not have believed that such character truly exists.

Anyway, the main attraction on this film to my opinion was not really on the kidnapping itself but the characterization of J. Paul Getty by Christopher Plummer. It was no wonder that he got a nomination for best supporting actor in Academy Awards and Golden Globe. The 1970s setting were also very good and truly believable. The vehicles, buildings, clothing, make up etc were amazingly created to bring us the nuance from that period. I also think that Michelle Williams performance here was great where she was nominated for best actress category (but only in Golden Globe). The directing of this film, apart from the many flash backs that I did not entirely enjoy was also greatly done by Ridley Scott who was no stranger to directing movies that were awarded with multiple nominations such as Gladiator, Black Hawk Down or The Martian.

As a drama thriller movie, I was actually pretty intrigued by the kidnapping plot and truly felt sorry for the victim, John Paul Getty who was only 16 years old at the time. But as I said above, Christopher Plummer's acting here was so eye catching that it became too big for the rest of the cast. Especially Mark Wahlberg whose performance here felt a little bit flat to my opinion. It feels like he did not have any emotions at all (apart from 1 scene of him talking to J. Paul Getty angrily in the final third of the film).  

Overall, I did enjoy this movie during my flight, even if it was a bit heavy (which was why I switched to a comedy movie Midnight Runners after watching this). There were moments that I think was a bit suspenseful and as I said intriguing, and combined with the great performance from 2 of the cast, it made the movie quite worthwhile to see. So if you are interested in watching a drama thriller based on true story and you are also interested in seeing the world's richest man alive during his worst moments, then by all means this would be a great choice. However, if you prefer a more action-ish nonstop thrilling kidnapping movie, then you might be more excited watching Kidnap. Btw, since it already passed the playing time in Indonesian cinemas, you might have the chance to see this if you are travelling with Garuda Indonesia flight this month. Or you could always look for it through online streaming. 

Happy watching!

Mike's movie moments rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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