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All The Money In The World Movie Review: Plummer From Sound Of Music To Sound Of Money!

Starring: Christopher Plummer,Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Rating: ***(3 stars)

A  breathlessness that has nothing to do with the film’s two chief architects being over 80, defines  the narrative momentum   of All The Money In The World, an uplifting sometimes sickening saga of greed and lust for power and money, not necessarily in that order.

We all  know how Christopher  Plummer overnight replaced the disgraced Kevin Spacey in the role  of  J Paul Getty, the American billionaire known to be notoriously miserly even when his own grandson was kidnapped.

The  morality tale sucks us into its  vortex of avarice and  retribution with such virile fluency that we never  notice how deviously the  narrative flirts with our sense of moral  propriety . Is the film laughing at  the twisted morality of  ‘billionaire-ship’ when Getty refuses to pay up a hefty ransom to get his grandson back arguing that once he pays , all his other grandchildren’s safety would compromised? Or is the narrative mocking the  desperate anguish  of  the kidnapped boy’s mother, played with ravishing restrain  by Michelle Williams?

I would have looked  a more confrontational  screenplay pitching Plummer and  his screen-Bahu Williams. But we are denied the  pleasure of high drama for something far more disturbing: a film that questions not limitless wealth  but our judgment of the power and danger that such wealth brings.

 Take  it as you wish. But finally this is  a film that pays a winking  homage to the veteran Christopher Plummer’s propensity to  project moral ambivalence  without letting his performance dither or wobble  for even  a second. Watching Plummer own every second  of his playing time appropriated  from Kevin Spacey, all we can say is, what a journey it has been  from the sonorous Sound Of Music To the vulgar  sound of money. Plummer’s character and  the way he shuns negotiation with the kidnappers,  initially reminded me of Dilip Kumar in Ramesh Sippy’s Shakti who had refused to  negotiate with his little son’s kidnappers.

That  boy had grown up to be  a smouldering Amitabh Bachchan. I can  envisage  a similar seething destiny  for  young Charlie Plummer  if the film allows his character the luxury of a sequel.

Take  a  bow, Mr Plummer. And  you too , Ridley Scott.

At  80 Scott directs this kidnapping tale with a swishing delight, hunting down the plot’s moral centre without compromising on  the quotient of fun  that the characters have in getting here. Barring Mark Wahlburg whose role as  a ransom negotiator  remains, perhaps by   its very definition, ill-defined every actor from the senior  Plummer to the junior Plummer(Charlie who  plays Getty’s kidnapped grandson) seems  to get the point that the plot makes about obscene wealth: it kills the conscience.It can also  kill your loved ones in more obvious ways.

Either way Christopher Plummer’s Getty remains unmoved.Wealth has deprived Getty of feeling real emotions.Plummerexpresses the dryness of  affluence.

All The Money In The World shows us how absolute power corrupts absolutely and often that power comes  from limitless wealth.

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