Ocean’s 8 is an American heist motion-picture directed by Gary Ross and is a spin-off from the original Ocean’s trilogy. It features an ex-convict in Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) who alongside Lou (Cate Blanchett) and her recruits, plan to execute a theft operation at the Met Gala.
a.) Debbie Ocean.
She is the fulcrum that the group’s operations spins around. Her character is very relatable as well; she just can’t let go of her criminal past because that’s who she basically is and will continue to be. To me, Ocean represents many people out there who even after going through years of suffering as a result of criminal activity, still end up going back to their old ways. It might be the wrong way to go about the issue but that’s how humans are; old habits never die. Throughout the film, you’ll get to see why she is so good at her game that she can coordinate one of the history’s greatest heists as she put it. I’m not a jewelry thief myself but even if I was, I’d understand the importance of having a cool head, putting the brain to work and surrounding myself with like-minded people who share my vision; Debbie is the epitome of that.
I’ve always been a strong fan of Cate Blanchett; she is easily in my top 20 actresses list and will always be irrespective of whether she takes up a role that is not received well amongst a wide range of people *cough*Thor Ragnarok*cough. Her character much like Sandra’s was equally relatable; that reliable liaison who you can go to when you need something done and done right. Debbie trusts that Lou will be in for the heist because she knows her well and the reverse is true. Furthermore, they have great chemistry which can be a major boost especially from a psychological standpoint when organizing and carrying out a heist as big as this one.
c.) Daphine Kluger.
She is pretty much the pawn in this ongoing ‘chess game’; an eccentric celebrity whom the female kleptomaniacs inadvertently use to steal the necklace. She likes the best things in life and thus when an opportunity presents itself for her to be the talk of the Met gala event; she is up for it pronto. The way I see it, this is one of if not the easiest casting choice that Anne Hathaway has ever had. This is because she is basically channeling a persona that she has played numerously in her career into this Daphine character and for the most part it’s seamless. I did not expect any less.
d.) Auxiliary characters.
Debbie obviously needs more women with specific skill-sets to carry out the operation and that’s where the rest of the female characters come in. We have Amita (Mandy Kaling) who is good with handling jewelry so she is obviously a needed asset and there’s also Nine Ball (Rihanna); who is fundamentally good with the computer and can hack into virtual systems impeccably.
The Theme, Boons and Banes.
Whether or not you’ll love or hate Ocean’s 8 depends on what you expect from a heist film and hence there are three categories of questions you need to take note of. Are you someone who is effortlessly comfortable with below par stakes that don’t really raise the tension to a level high enough for you to wholesomely invest in the characters? Are you someone who comes into a photoplay of this caliber in need of seeing really high stakes in play that put the characters involved in them in situations that you’ll wonder how they’ll maneuver out of? Or are you someone who doesn’t care about the mentioned aspects and just wants to have fun and be entertained? Trust me, these 3 questions are crucial and you at least need to know your preferred category before seeing this Gary Ross film.
I, of course, normally fall in category 2 but as I was watching the film, I found myself slipping into that middle grey area between my preferred category and category 3; I did not particularly get the stakes I was hoping for (I won’t mention why because it is a potential spoiler) but I had fun all the same, in specific instances.
Another issue I have with the movie is that with the exception of Debbie, the other women don’t get much characterization; they are just introduced into the picture and the film doesn’t take the initiative to show you what they had been involved in previously to earn their spot on the team. To some extent, Mindy Kaling’s character might be another exception because we get to see a glimpse of her pre-recruitment life but it wasn’t enough. I’m not a fan of expositions for character development but this movie was an exoneration where it was needed.
I have nothing against this female ensemble of characters in Ocean’s 8 but I am considerably convinced that the previous Ocean’s movies were much better in almost every aspect. However, I won’t go out of my way to crucify the motion-picture because I was entertained by it and sometimes that should be enough.