Goldstone was not at all what I expected. From the poster, I thought this was going to be a really action packed crime thriller, but that’s not what this is. This film is much more tame, taking more time to get to know the characters than a typical film of this type. Most of the time, this works in the films favor, because it’s always better to give your characters depth. There are moments where this strategy does drag a bit, but not so much to where it dooms the whole thing.
So the positives are many for this film, the performances probably being number one. The cast includes very talented actors such as: Alex Russel, Aaron Pederson, Cheng Pei-Pei, and Jackie Weaver. They all do really well, Weaver in particular. Jackie Weaver typically plays supporting roles in most of her films, and she is here too, but she steals every scene she’s in. She has a certain presence about her and really embodies every bit of her not so nice character. Russel has a really energy in general, and he really fits his character here, I was thankful he was given enough time and quality material to work with. Pederson is good here as well, his character is much more sedated and calm than the others, so because of that, he was less memorable, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t still good.
The writing is overall good here, the script provides us with enough material to introduce us to these characters. There are two main ways the script provides character depth: scenes between two different people or monologues. I really loved the monologues, mainly Weaver’s. Sometimes a monologue can seem overlong or just dramatic for the sake of being dramatic, but hers is actually very interested and that’s partly because of the way she delivers it. In the same vein, Russel has one or two that really work too. I also liked the part of the plot that deals with the mistreatment of indigenous people, it’s a very important topic and a deeper more interesting subject to focus on. The attention brought to human trafficking is also admirable.
Some things didn’t work as well. For one, a some scenes dragged. I understand they were going for a dramatic feel, but in several instances it just went on for too long. Also, without spoiling anything, things seemed to get wrapped up a little too easily. I just didn’t really feel the strong wrap up feeling you’re supposed to feel from the third act. The final scene felt some of the same way to me, the last scene is supposed to feel very somber due to something awful that happens earlier in the film, but it didn’t carry as much weight as I think it was wanting to because they just didn’t build that part of the story enough.
All in all, Goldstone is a pretty good film, due to it’s performances and writing. It does have flaws and it wants to be a little more dramatic than it is, but it’s still in overall good watch.