One minute you’re flying high as an Olympic-class mogul skier. The next, you’re tumbling down a mountain with a career-ending injury. This is the life of Molly Bloom (played by Jessica Chastain). Determination drilled into her by her over-bearing father (Kevin Costner), Molly isn’t one for lying down. Skipping law school, she decides to move to LA where she becomes embroiled in the clandestine world of illegal poker games.
'...is a real-life story of a lady smarter than those around her.'
Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Molly’s Game’ is a real-life story of a lady smarter than those around her. Couched in the double-bluff world of professional card sharks and even bigger egos, this is indeed fertile ground for Sorkin’s trademark dialogue. In Jessica Chastain’s hands, Molly is a suitably impressive character rolling with the punches and dealing back harder than what she gets. With a suitable foil in Idris Elba’s attorney at law, Molly peels back the insider secrets of nighttime gambling – and this is where, if anything, the movie suffers.
Seen so much from Molly’s point of view and cradled in her wisecracking observations, the movie slowly starts to run out of suspense. Served on such a surfeit of smart delivery, the drama doesn’t really surface outside Molly’s perspective. So when the surprises come, they feel strangely diluted like an unhelpful ace after a run of bad hands. That is not to say that ‘Molly’s Game’ is not a good movie. Far from it, but from the fireworks of ‘The West Wing’ and the anti-septic observations of ‘The Social Network’, Molly is a hard character to sympathise with when only seen from her hardened exterior.