Did The Ending Of Uncut Gems Ruin The Film?

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Did The Ending Of Uncut Gems Ruin The Film?

Uncut Gems

One of the biggest breakout hits is the Safdie Brothers thriller, Uncut Gems, starring Adam Sandler, who has proven that he can still act as long as he’s given the right material. The film is about Howard Ratner, a jeweler who makes a high-stakes bet that could make him a fortune. Of course, high rewards can also lead to big consequences and Ratner is forced to balance his business, family, and adversaries in order to gain the ultimate win. To recap, Howard is in deep trouble. He owes Arno and his crew big money, but the jeweler opts to lock him inside the entranceway to make him understand that he’s likely placing a wrong bet. Anxiety and nervousness over the game run high, but Howard seemingly gets his big win and everyone is celebrating because they just hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, the moment Howard finally opens the door, he gets shot in the eye. Arno and his crew have the last laugh, though Howard’s mistress walks away with the huge amount of money.

To say this ending isn’t controversial would be a lie. Technically speaking, the bad guy wins. But, let’s be honest, Howard isn’t exactly a role model himself. He’s a shady dealer, who cheats on his wife consistently. Sure, he’s living the six-figure lifestyle that everyone craves, but his world came with a price. Howard was risking other people’s money for his potential gain. In some ways, Uncut Gems is a modern neo-noir film. Granted, it isn’t billed as one nor does the film replicate the style, but we’re living in a world full of shady characters. We’re rooting for Howard because he’s not that bad of a guy. He seems to be a great father. His wife absolutely hates his guts, but you do understand why he prefers Julia. It isn’t because she’s younger, but it’s due to the fact that she’s essentially the female version of him.

At his core, Howard’s intentions are good. He does want what’s best for his family, but the ending represents the balancing act that the world he’s thrust himself into. He’s dealing with a bunch of gangsters who are tired of Howard’s crap. He won big, and his family and mistress will gain the rewards, which is ultimately the happy ending. Yeah, it would’ve been nice to see Howard get the victory, but it doesn’t mean that the twist wasn’t effective. It’s rare in movies these days where a filmmaker takes a risk and delivers a sad ending. While you think about it, the most iconic movies don’t particularly have cheery endings. Chinatown sees Evelyn Mulwray shot dead by police as her daughter is traumatized over the horrors of what she just witnessed (and what she has to deal with in the future). Seven sees the protagonist giving into the killer’s twisted morals after the detective discovers that his wife had been horribly mutilated.  The Green Mile sees the innocent, but convicted man put to death on the electric chair.

Life doesn’t always have happy endings. And it’s great when movie’s sometime reflect that. However, a sad ending shouldn’t just come out of the blue. Those sad endings were built up well. So was Uncut Gems. Do we expect Howard to die in the climax? No, but when you consider the world that’s he dealing with then it makes sense. We knew Howard’s life was in danger. These guys actually kidnapped him at one point. They were threatening to murder his entire family. The movie did a balancing act by making the somewhat likeable characters walk away clean (Julia, Howard’s family), though that doesn’t necessarily lessen the impact of Howard’s death, but gives you a piece of mind that the people he genuinely cares for is alive and well. On the flip side, Howard living would’ve work as well. What’s great about Uncut Gems is that the film doesn’t build to one definite ending. Sure, it seems as if Howard was going to live life as a rich man with a woman that truly loves him, but that gunshot smacks everyone back to reality and demonstrates that life isn’t a fairytale. All-in-all, the ending of Uncut Gems was shocking, but earned. It’s understandable if people weren’t exactly happy with how it all went down. Not everyone likes to be depressed once a movie is all said and done, but films like these do an excellent job of keeping audiences on their toes without giving easy answers to tough subject matters.Chinatown

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