“Sam Gold in my head”: what is the meaning of Guy Ritchie’s film “Revolver”
“It’s strange that no one has called the film “Revolver” yet. It sounds cool,” Guy Ritchie said about the meaning of the name.
“Revolver” is a complex psychological drama in which it’s very easy to get lost and then impossible to find. We watched the film twice, read a bunch of interviews, barely figured it out and tell you what the meaning of the film “Revolver” is and how not to get confused in its layers. Of course, you will still get confused, but with us it will be somehow simpler.
Guy Ritchie is a master of crime comedy, absurd plots and bright dynamic pictures. In his interviews, he says that he came to the cinema in order to make spectacular films, and not to communicate higher meanings. But “Revolver” turned out to be a big exception: here the plot was created just in order to convey a philosophical idea.
There is a lot of psychology in this film, a lot of philosophy and scenes in which nothing is clear at all. At the same time, the special handwriting of the director is preserved: the film is bright, fast, absurd, at the same time funny and cruel.
The city is obsessed with gambling. Many casinos are run by Mac’s boss. Once he did not get along with his competitor Jake Green: it turned out that Green was sent to prison, in solitary confinement for seven years.
In the cells on either side of him lived two swindlers-chess players who would later become his associates: they created a “universal formula” for winning in any game and any kind of fraud. The film begins when Green has already served his seven years, was released, won a lot of money with the help of the “universal formula”, and now Maka decides to kill him for it. This is how the plot unfolds.
If you love Guy Ritchie’s style and want to enjoy his absurd and fast-paced storytelling, definitely check it out. But if tonight you are in such a mood that you want something simple, not confusing, just turn it on in the background, it’s better to put this film aside, because you won’t understand anything with the “background”.
“Revolver” must be watched slowly, thoughtfully and, most likely, more than once. If translated into the language of psychology, it literally gives a step-by-step diagram of how to solve your own internal conflicts.
The main idea that accompanies the whole plot is the idea of “wiring from wiring”. The main characters create a winning scheme in any game and any kind of fraud. It is based on making the opponent think that he is winning by letting his guard down: “In every game there is one who leads the game and one who is bred.
The more the victim seems to be in control, the less she is actually in control. So the victim tightens the noose around his neck, and I, as the host of the game, help her.
Green’s main opponents are Maka and Lord John. They fight on the battlefield of the casino, win each other’s goods and take money from each other. This is the outer shell of the plot. It is thanks to the “universal scheme” that Jake Green wins a lot of money from them. But the meaning of the main plot will become clear only if you delve into the subtexts and psychological details that Richie gives the viewer very insistently, but very ornately.
The “scheme” of swindlers was worked out in the prison during the game of chess. There are dozens of scenes in the film in which the main characters play chess and talk about the game. The fact is that Guy Ritchie himself loves chess, and on the set of his previous films he often played with actors during a break, mostly with Jason Statham (the same Jake Green).
Symbols and meanings
Zack and Avi repeat the clue phrase to Jake many times: “You are your main opponent.” Jake Green’s struggle unfolds simultaneously with the mafia and with himself. The internal struggle is the main one. The outer shows the inner.
Maka, Lord John and Jake Green are at war with each other on a common battlefield: casinos, money, illegal goods, in general, the usual mafia showdowns. The goal of each of them is to get as much money as possible and not bring down the wrath of the mysterious Sam Gold.
But Sam Gold is the most interesting and important figure in the mafia system. This is a mystical boss that everyone is terribly afraid of. Nobody has ever seen Sam Gold, but he has his own secretary – Lily Walker. She always appears wearing impenetrable black glasses, which hints that she is blind (hence, she has never seen Sam Gold either). She comes to Maka with a message that Gold is unhappy with him, Maka is horrified, because the legend says: “If Gold is unhappy with someone, he is sentenced to death.”
The voice of Sam Gold resounds in the heads of all participants in the system and dictates to them what to do. In fact, this is such a collective hoax: in fact, Gold does not exist. But everyone is terribly afraid of him. Maka will even commit suicide out of fear of him.
If we move on to symbolism, Sam Gold (Gold – gold) is a voice in our head that dictates to us the rules, attitudes, habits, beliefs and beliefs that we have been instilled with throughout life.
They, vaccinated, enslave us into a certain system of values, attitudes and habits, which do not always benefit us. They limit our freedom and provoke a lot of difficulties, senseless prohibitions and restrictions. This is when we don’t leave a job we don’t like, we again allow ourselves a cake at midnight, we issue a tenth loan, or we condemn a neighbor in a too short skirt.
All this “internal Gold” plays against us. And we can apply to it the same “universal formula”. Then we will defeat him and exit the game, as Jake did.
Zack and Avi appear out of nowhere when Green gets into trouble with Maka. They know absolutely everything about Green and make Green blindly trust them. “Don’t ask questions, follow all our instructions, answer our questions honestly, otherwise we won’t be able to help you.”
They begin work to exterminate Green’s inner voice. Zack and Avi are the hero’s companions. They are trying to get him out of the game.
There are several clues in the movie that suggest that Zack and Avi don’t exist (like in Fight Club). In the midst of a firefight, they lie peacefully in an open-air hot tub, and the fight does not hurt them in any way. They completely mystically predict what will happen to Jake Green in the next second.
They are also the authors of the prison “universal formula” that Jake uses. And they constantly repeat to Jake: “We are you.” This is not an accurate, but common opinion: you can think that Zak and Avi are mystical characters, or you can think that they are a figment of Green’s imagination.
So they do everything so that Jake Green defeats his inner enemy, because the main enemy of those who got into the mafia system is Sam Gold in the skull.
Taking all of Green’s money, Zack and Avi subdue his greed. By forcing him to show mercy and give money to the poor, they overcome his cruelty. In the end, they lead to him asking for forgiveness in front of Maka – this destroys his pride. The point of their actions is for Greene to move to a new level of thinking – one step above the game-war for money.
scene in the elevator
The elevator scene is a key psychological scene in the film. Here Jake Green “doubles”: his “inner voice” breaks out in the form of a second Green. We can consider that this is the main battle of the whole plot – the battle of the hero with himself.
Naturally, it had to happen in the elevator. For seven years in prison, Green has developed claustrophobia – he is afraid of closed spaces. Throughout the film, every time he has to ride in an elevator, he struggles to overcome himself and feels real panic.
Here, in the elevator on the way to Maka, he gets stuck and is left alone with himself: with panic fear, greed, pride. It’s a long, depressing, very abrupt, creepy scene with abrupt cuts, a scary altered voice.
The scene is made very psychologically: the feeling of horror is conveyed subtly and accurately. In disputes with his “second self”, that is, the inner voice, that is, with Sam Gold himself, he repeats: “I am not you.” This, of course, infuriates the inner voice. At the end of the scene, with the elevator running, Green wins and is freed from Sam Gold’s fetters. Exits the game.
The doors open, Maka greets him with the muzzle of a gun and the question: “What game are you playing?”, And Green does not answer anything: no longer. “Fear me,” Maka says in horror, holding his finger on the trigger, “and Greene is no longer afraid of anything.
The fact that Jake Greene apologizes to Maka shows that he has won over his ego, which means that the system of fraud, self-deception and deception of others no longer has power over him.
In contrast, we see how Maka and Lord John die. Maka commits suicide, certain that he is already doomed to death at the hands of Gold. Lord John is killed. They never understood what Sam Gold is, and that the main enemy is inside, not outside. They did not have the courage and willpower to break out of the system, so they remain in it; and the participants in the system are sooner or later doomed to death.
And Jake Green, as they say, gained enlightenment: he freed himself from the harmful influence of the system.