Never Give up on your Dream.
Seasoned writer and burgeoning director Stephen Gaghan (Syriana) brings us a fantastical story of rags to riches and back again and more, but it is actually based on a true story.
Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey, The Lincoln Lawyer, Interstellar) is a third generation prospector and he works for his father (Craig T. Nelson, Poltergeist, The Incredibles) at Washoe Mining Corporation. Kenny is showing Kay, his girlfriend around the Washoe office, explaining what they get up to. He also slips a new gold watch into her handbag before pulling it out and presenting her with it. It is 1981 and the whole point of prospecting is to speculate to accumulate and that is what Kenny Snr lets Kenny Jnr do. But shortly after he does that he passes away suddenly.
Now seven years later things in Reno Nevada have changed drastically. Gone are the boom days, now it is only bust and Kenny and his team are working out of the bar where Kay works. Kenny is not flustered, he keeps the faith that Washoe will be a success again. But money is disappearing fast and Kenny needs to make a deal, so he tries some bankers but they just won’t buy the long odds on the return. Even where the operation was making money are sold off to a consortium of creditors.
While he slumbers he has a dream, a dream of the far off jungles of Borneo Indonesia and finding ‘Gold’ lots of gold and a fabled geologist Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez, The Bourne Ultimatum, Wrath of the Titans) who found the largest deposits of copper ever found.
Kenny is a man who strikes while the iron is hot and when he wakens he gets on the phone to Acosta to arrange a meet up. When he gets the go ahead he gathers his and Kay’s valuables and heads for for the pawnshop for a plane ticket to the jungle.
He looks like a man down on his luck when he meets Acosta in a hotel lobby. Acosta isn’t any better off than Kenny but they start talking about Kenny’s dream and where he thinks the gold is in Acosta’s ‘Ring of Fire’ theory for finding minerals. Eventually he manages to convince Mike that they should go prospecting together.
Kenny heads back to the US to raise funds for the drilling operation at the site Mike chose. Using Mike’s fabled name they manage to raise enough money to start drilling and Kenny heads back to the jungle where Mike has got local villagers to work for them. They have no luck with the first cores that are tested but they aren’t put off. However the workers are and they abandon the drill and head home. Kenny can’t persuade them to come back, so Mike tries and agrees to supply them with fresh water in order to get them to restart drilling.
Kenny comes down with a bad case of Malaria and is out of it for a couple of weeks and when he comes back Mike tells him that they have a gold mine. Kenny takes a scrap of paper and writes a quick contract on it and they both sign it and Kenny tells Mike to keep a hold of it.
With a gold mine what could possibly go wrong?
A great film that defies belief that these events took place back in the late eighties. McConaughey gives an “Untarnished performance” and shines bright in this drama.