Directed by Ridley Scott
The fact-based drama “All The Money in the World” is both timely and timeless, depicting the greediness of our world, where, unfortunately, the money is idolized and considered of more importance than the human life itself.
The story follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer), an amiable, longhaired bohemian who is confined to a shack in a remote region of Calabria, South of Italy, awaiting patiently that his billionaire grandfather, J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer), pays $17 million dollars in ransom. Despite the pressure and anxiety involved, Paul was lucky enough to earn the fondness of Cinquanta (Romain Duris), one of the Mafiosi.
Surprisingly or not, the dominant and inflexible Mr. Getty is not willing to pay a cent for his beloved and favorite grandson, whose life depends exclusively from the efforts of his desperate mother, Gail Harris (Michelle Williams). She gets a good backup from Getty’s trustful advisor, a former spy named Fletcher Chase (a too modest Mark Wahlberg), who was assigned to bring Paul back home.
Through sporadic flashbacks, we get aware of the distorted relations among the family members. Seventeen years before, in the early 70s, the wealthy patriarch attempted to reconnect with his son, John Paul Getty Jr. (Andrew Buchan), but the latter got lost on drugs in Morocco and remained there, living a vicious life as a hippie.
If Christopher Plummer, who took the place of the discredited Kevin Spacey, is an extra reason for you to see this film, Ms. Williams plays the most empathic character as an ordinary woman who fights bravely for her son, refusing to bow or kneel down in front of her powerful father-in-law. What would you think of a man who pays millions for a piece of art but refuses to pay for his innocent grandson’s freedom? Having his own reasons, he doesn't eschew a justification for his acts. Meanwhile, the case aggravates when the kidnappers, already having lowered their price and stressed for the wait, send an ear of the young Paul to the editorial department of a major newspaper to prove they were not joking.
Although far from being a reference in the kidnapping thriller genre, the dramatic side gets into your skin. Yet, you might only expect the thrilling moments to take proper effect in its final section. The experienced 80-year-old Ridley Scott (“Blade Runner”, “Thelma & Louise”, “Alien”) directed the film without major gaps, relying on a script by David Scarpa, who based himself in the book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty by John Pearson.