Ridley Scott’s latest movie All the Money in the World is both a biopic and a thriller, at times gravitating towards the latter. The movie begins with the abduction of J.Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and is succeeded by a series of events that paints a portrait about his billionaire grandfather, the oil mogul J.Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer). J.Paul Getty III is a long-haired 16 year old who is kidnapped by the notorious mafia ‘Ndrangheta for a ransom of $ 17 million. His mother, estranged wife of J.Paul Getty II, Abigail (Michelle Williams) receives a phone call from the gang leader Cinquanta (Romain Duris) about the ransom and she finds herself helpless in Rome unable to fathom a way to save her son. She decides to approach her son’s grandfather to help her with the ransom, but Getty happened to be nothing short of a real life Scrooge. When questioned by a bunch of journalists about how much ransom would he pay, he chortles saying ‘Nothing’. Also he retorts back by saying if he paid a ransom to save the life of one of his fourteen grandchildren, then the abductors could be tempted to repeat their actions.
The question that hovers around is whether Getty is genuinely concerned about the safety of his family or is his concern bogus. Another question would be if he is the despicable person he projects himself to be. The events that follow in the movie keeps our opinions about him swaying. Despite his frugal nature and detestable demeanour, he appoints one of his trusted negotiators, Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) on this case. Months pass by and Fletcher and Abigail, reach nowhere in saving Getty III. Meanwhile the abductors begin to turn barbaric and send Getty III’s severed ear and a lock of his hair at a daily newspaper. When the kidnappers reduced their demands to $3.2 million, Getty Sr. finally consents to help save his grandson.
The major highlight of this movie would be Christopher Plummer as Getty, for which he has received a Golden Globe Nomination. Plummer gets into the shoes of Getty and adds a dash of vulnerability in the otherwise stone-hearted character. Those parts of the movie where the focus is on the recalcitrant Getty in his dark fortress are definitely brilliant. Romain Duris’s and Michelle Williams’s also perfect in their respective roles. If you are in for a movie that oscillates between delving into the psyche of the super-rich and also encompasses an edge-of- the seat thriller, then All the Money in the World is definitely worth watching.