(SPOILER WARNING FOR UNCUT GEMS)
“That was a terrible movie.” Someone said behind me when the end credits rolled. Then, when the mob of moviegoers walked out of Uncut Gems and into the halls of the Regal Cinema, I heard a voice from in front of me say “It wasn’t bad but, that ending, I don’t know.” Which I understand; but in a movie about deadly cycles of self-sabotage the consequences of a character’s actions can be, well, deadly. One time, I had a conversation with my friend about the film White Boy Rick (2018).
When she asked me if I was excited to see it, I responded by saying
“I am and I’m not. Crime movies rarely end well for the protagonist of those movies.”
She laughed and said “Well the protagonist are criminals so it those endings makes sense. And also, just because they’re the main characters that doesn’t mean they’re the good guy.”
It seems like something I should’ve been able to figure out myself, but I have to be honest an say that the thought never crossed my mind. And because of that, like my fellow moviegoer(s) on Christmas, I hated the movies that ended on sour notes or anything short of a wedding and some good old fashioned deus ex machina intervention. Growing up, my mom would always plead with us that when we picked movies, she wanted to watch only the ones with happy endings because the sad ones estaban muy feas and for the longest time, I felt the same way. It’s the reason I first thought of the Bitter Lemons sections of some of my film reflections here on Broadstew.com.
But Anyways, why does any of this matter and why is this at all relevant to my writing rate of one blogpost every 6 months? Because Howard, the protagonist of Uncut Gems, although completely different to me, is also very much like me in some way. In the movie Howard constantly falls back into a self-sabotaging cycle of fixing everything, only to go back and mess everything up even worse than it was before. Like a lot of people, Howard is incapable of seeing the real dangers of not being able to break his cycle because he always seems to weasel himself out of things. Eventually though, the well runs dry, just like it can for anybody else who finds themselves stuck in patterns of self-destructive behavior. And when you think about this, it’s the reason why Uncut Gems ended the way it did. Howard is a symbol for a destructive cycle that is never broken or is broken too late when damage has already been dealt and is irreversible.
And back to me, although my cycle won’t end as harshly as Howard’s, there are parallels to how I constantly find myself in a hole of writer’s block as I struggle to break through my self-destructive habits. Usually I’ll feel inspired and sporadically write out a couple hundred words only to fall back into hours of binge watching youtube videos or gaming and my writing sits on the backburner. In Uncut Gems, Howard owes A LOT of people money, but in my life, I owe myself all the time I’m stealing from myself and my creative work. Again, I am not Howard and my situation is not one of life and death, but watching Uncut Gems did make me think about what the tragedy in my story is if I continue to put off and neglect my dreams. What happens when my end credits roll and it’s too late to turn back? I don’t intend on finding out.
Back to Uncut Gems, I don’t think anyone that hasn’t watched and plans to is still here but if you are or if you’re someone who didn’t plan to watch I will say this:
Go watch. The cast is incredible with Adam Sandler doing what I think is the best work he has ever done. I will say though, the movie is long, just about over two hours and for those two hours you will be stressed and will feel emotionally attacked and battered (in the best way possible, if that’s a thing). In short, the movie is fantastic but, es una pelicula muy fea.