Executively produced by Martin Scorsese (GOODFELLAS, GANGS OF NEW YORK, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET) and starring Adam Sandler in a serious but not unfunny role as Howard Ratner-a New York jeweller with gambling debts, a failed marriage with children, and a loose partner with whom he now shares his life with.
Urban, contemporary and tough, the film opens with a scene set in Ethiopian mines where working men risk life and limb to find rare gems for their pay masters.
Back in New York, Howard (Al Pacino like in Adam Sandler) hosts an exclusive basketball star in his store who borrows one of Howard’s illegal imports from Ethiopia but is reticent to return it since the star feels empowered by it. Howard is a marked man for his failed payments from gambling and suffers brutality at the hands of his debt collectors. He embarks upon trying to retrieve his stone amidst confrontations with his former family, partner and debtors in New York’s dangerous night life.
The film explores the tensions, distractions and ugliness of big city life which suffocates anything beautiful. But also, the energies in nature, the yin and Yang, that result in what we call destiny and fate. With talents from other eras such as Eric Bogosian (TALK RADIO) , Judd Hirsch (TAXI) and introducing the striking Julia Fox who should go onto more film projects. The cinematography is by the legendary Darius Khondji who shot the film on 35mm which suits the rough edges of any uncut gem. A low budget but profitable film which has also gained deserved critical acclaim.
The picture was due to be released in art house cinemas in the UK last month but is available to watch on NETFLIX.