‘Gold Brick’ (2023) Review: A New French Comedy Is A Netflix Must Watch

There’s something truly enjoyable about watching a cinematic portrayal of a desperate striver hailing from a thankless job, rising above, and creating his own name. Especially when the storyline is fused with wacky humor and whimsical visuals. Netflix’s newest offering, Gold Brick, a French comedy-drama, brings forth such cinematic delight by depicting the story of a young struggling man named Daniel from the small town of Chartres with high hopes in life. Chartres is such a town where big ambitions are pipe dreams, as most of the men of the town toil away at the big perfume merchandise, Breuil and Sons, but Daniel, unlike them, yearns to go beyond Breuils and create an empire of his own. The film takes us on his journey, blending humor and visual playfulness, making it a highly recommendable watch.

Throughout the film, the protagonist’s voiceover takes center stage, which sometimes comes across as intrusive, like the unnecessary subtitle description of background noise, yet unquestionably, the narration is artistic and would have been enhanced if it could transcend the limitations of subtitles and dubbing. The story revolves around Daniel Sauveur, hailing from a small town, Chartres, where a large portion was owned by the prominent perfume company, Breuils, and Sons. While most of the men in town worked for Breuils, Daniel decided to start his own business with his childhood friend Scania, who occasionally served as a human shield in Daniel’s life. However, their independent venture was short-lived when Breuils accused Daniel of relying heavily on their business, making him economically dependent on them. This forced Daniel and Scania to accept that Breuils and Sons would eventually determine their fate.

However, Daniel’s desire for individuality persisted, and he devised a clever plan to earn additional income. One day, while working at the perfume company, Daniel learned that Breuils Sr., the owner, had passed away, leaving the company to his son Patrick. Patrick’s wife, Beatrice, distributed bottles of the luxurious perfume, Collin Brown, to all the employees, including Daniel. Rather than using the perfume, Daniel sold it online and instantly earned 50 Euros. Scania joined him in this scheme, and together, they skillfully evaded the company’s strict supervision, stealing many bottles of the perfume. This risky endeavor quickly brought fortune to Daniel and Scania.

Daniel Sauver’s character in Gold Brick stands out from the start due to his strong disdain for capitalism. His unique outlook on life serves as the catalyst for a significant transformation and success in his own journey, setting him apart from the conformist townspeople who have always adhered to the conventional way of making a living. However, as Daniel persisted in his quest to build an empire of his own, he found himself caught up in a complex situation that almost exposed his illicit activities. Fortunately, another promising worker of the company, as well as Daniel’s beloved, Virginie, entered his life and played a crucial role in being a constant source of support throughout his journey. Nevertheless, as the narrative unfolds, a climactic plot twist is anticipated, one that will not only impact Daniel’s character but also have a profound effect on another crucial individual in the film.

The film effectively portrays the stark class disparities and power dynamics that exist within a capitalistic society, highlighting how the destiny of ordinary people is often dictated by those who hold wealth and influence. Through the character arc of Daniel, the film breaks free from the confines of convention and surpasses societal barriers in an effort to speak for equality in terms of human rights.

The movie skillfully blends the elements of humor, eloquent storytelling, and social commentary, creating a multi-layered narrative. When discussing the artistry of this film, it presents a captivating premise that immediately captures our attention through its stunning visuals and meticulous attention to aesthetics. The filmmakers skillfully create a visual feast for the eyes, employing an artistic color palette, intricate set designs, and beautiful cinematography to draw viewers into the world they have created. The film strikes a perfect balance when it comes to incorporating glamor into its narrative. The allure and elegance are presented in just the right amount, enhancing the overall plot and making it even more appealing to viewers.

Additionally, the style of storytelling is playful and interesting. It uses a creative and imaginative way of narrating the story to keep the audience intrigued right from the start, setting higher expectations from the film. In addition to the film’s craftsmanship, the performances in this production are truly outstanding. With Agathe Rousselle as an aspiring and ambitious employee, Virginie and Raphael Quenard as the protagonists, and Daniel delivering remarkable portrayals that steal the show, Their performance in the film is promising enough to leave a lasting impression on the audience, but the film suffers a little bit as their onscreen chemistry didn’t get enough limelight throughout the film. Furthermore, the plot does suffer from a certain level of complexity, which can make it challenging for some viewers to fully grasp too many events happening at once. As a result, the film may leave audiences feeling overwhelmed or struggling to comprehend all the nuances presented simultaneously.

Unfortunately, the film falls short in terms of character development, particularly for characters like Scania, Virginie, and even Daniel himself. While the storyline remains intriguing, the limited exploration of these characters prevents the audience from forming a deeper connection with them and experiencing a sense of fulfillment from their arcs. The film’s missed opportunity to build substantial character development hampers the overall impact of the film.

Despite its shortcomings, the movie succeeds in shedding light on pressing social issues and offering thought-provoking commentary, making us reflect on the oppressive structures that govern our lives and challenging us to consider the possibility of breaking free from these constraints. Though the film may leave some aspects unfulfilled, its broader message and the themes it explores still resonate, making it a worthwhile watch for those interested in social critique and the exploration of clashes between the upper and middle classes.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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Despite its shortcomings, Gold Brick succeeds in shedding light on pressing social issues and offering thought-provoking commentary, making us reflect on the oppressive structures that govern our lives.'Gold Brick' (2023) Review: A New French Comedy Is A Netflix Must Watch