read the news // live the culture
The Upcoming | Read the news // Live the culture
Thursday 23rd October 2014

Film review: Gambit

  Friday 9th November 2012
  Friday 9th November 2012

Gambit had a troublesome development since its conception in 1997. Being a remake of the popular 1966 caper of the same namescreenplay duties were given to the Coen Brothers. This created a buzz amongst cinephiles since Joel and Ethan Coen hadn’t been credited solely as screenwriters before, yet the production remained in development limbo until shooting began in May 2011. The wait is now over. 

Gambit is released in UK cinemas on 21st November.

Gambit places Colin Firth in the shoes of Harry Dean, an intelligent yet bumbling art curator in dire straits as he attempts a major con on his very wealthy boss Shabandar, played by Alan Rickman. Cameron Diaz plays cowgirl PJ Puznowzki (a name which is the butt of many jokes in the film), the naive accidental owner of a fake Monet which Harry Dean plans to sell to his boss for £12 million. The plan does not unfold as simply and subtly as they had hoped, with their bickering and internal differences eventually becoming a greater obstacle than Shabandar’s impenetrable stubborn nature.

An immediate difference is the change in characters between the original and remake. Where Caine’s Harry Dean was boastful yet capably cunning, Firth’s Harry Dean is somewhat of a failure. He is no match for the hostility of other males; his face is constantly bruised and nose constantly broken as his grand plan often goes awry due to his blundering shortcomings. It seems that Firth’s Harry Dean is the newest addition to the modern British bumbling-but persevering protagonist, best portrayed by Hugh Grant’s character in Notting Hill – a binary opposite to the effortlessly nifty 1960s Caine-esque protagonist. The film’s most colourful character by far is Rickman’s Shabandar. The greedy ‘more money than sense’ billionaire is repulsive from the start, but his cringe-worthy phrases are delightful when spoken with Rickman’s unique voice and manner.

Despite the film’s troubled production, Gambit prevails and effectively relishes the swinging sixties Brit-caper mood of its predecessor whilst introducing fresh elements into the genre, resulting in a competent comedy for all ages.

Verdict:•••

Darren Gobin

Watch the trailer for Gambit here:

 


More about the author


Share this story


  • Pin It
  • Share on Google+
  • Reddit
  • Stumble
  • LinkedIn

Latest related

One Republic at the O2 Arena | Live review
One Republic at the O2 Arena

One Republic are currently on a European tour entitled Native, to promote their third album; Wednesday saw them take [read more]

Little Noise Sessions: Jake Bugg at Union Chapel | Live review
Little Noise Sessions: Jake Bugg at Union Chapel

Little Noise Sessions, curated by Jo Whiley, are held in Union Chapel in Islington every year in aid of Mencap. The [read more]

Death From Above 1979 at Electric Ballroom | Live review
Death From Above 1979 at Electric Ballroom

There seems to be a flurry of top quality two-piece bands at the moment: Royal Blood, The Black Keys, The Kills. But no [read more]

London Film Festival 2014: Mommy | Review
London Film Festival 2014: Mommy

Thursday 16th October, 6pm – Odeon West EndSunday 19th October, 8.30pm – BFI Southbank Five years ago, [read more]

London Film Festival 2014: Far from Men | Review
London Film Festival 2014: Far from Men

Saturday 18th October, 5.30pm – Vue 5 Sunday 19th October, 3.30pm – Cine Lumiere Cinema Against the backdrop of the [read more]

Archives