Valium inducing, emotionally pulverizing, “Uncut Gems” sears to the soul one man’s addiction to living on the edge, a gambler, constantly questing the ultimate high, pushing to lethal limits his megalomania; Adam Sandler, like Sacha Baron Cohen in “The Spy”, switches oeuvres, and stuns as “Howard Ratner”, a jeweler, in possession of a stone of such magnitude, he is willing to undergo indignities, familial fractures, to realize a monumental, life-altering gain; brothers Josh and Benny Safdie have written (with Ronald Bronstein) and directed a chaotic, cacophonous, tapestry of human transgressions, frailties smattered with comedic Jewish schtick. With Sandler’s interpretation, Ratner’s potency is stratospheric.
Dominated by Sandler, but enhanced by actors Lakeith Stanfield (jewelry procurer, “Demany’), Idina Menzel (overwrought wife, “Dinah”), Julia Fox (adoring mistress, “Julia”) and surprisingly entertaining, basketball star Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics), playing himself, unselfconsciously.
From commencement to shocking conclusion with blistering, breakneck intensity “Uncut Gems”, a whirlwind of supersonic ingenuity, leaving viewers totally drained and exhausted. Did I like the film? No, but appreciated it overwhelmingly.