We always love a story with detailed twists, schemes, counter-schemes, and the whole shebang. But the problem with Gold Brick was that, despite its intriguing premise, it was extremely voiceover heavy. There was too much narration of the ideas and what went on behind the scenes, almost as if we were hearing a story rather than watching it. This meant that, though all the details were explicitly given, they got muddled in our brains, and we had to rewind things more than once to make sense of the narrative. The story was meant to be entertaining, and a little more thought would have resulted in a much better product. As we say it, we realize that this is our verdict for way too many things: the requirement of a little more thought in the right direction. Until that becomes more prevalent, let us go through the recap of Gold Brick.
How Is Daniel Selling The Perfumes?
Daniel Sauveur has grown up in Chartres, Central France, where the resident rich family, the Breuils, own everything. Daniel and his best friend, Scania, want to do something of their own without getting involved with the Breuils, but that doesn’t turn out the way they want since the family owns half the town. A major chunk of Daniel and Scania’s business comes from the family, and they are declared economically dependent on them. We are not sure of the French laws, but we understood this to mean that the business had to shut down, and the two best friends ended up working for the Breuils after all.
Daniel’s hatred for the Breuils begins after they place a billboard outside his house, obstructing their view of the church. It also did not help that Sr. Breuil was a bit of a cheapskate, and once Daniel started working for them, he had to pay his own money to do so. The Breuils are simply taking advantage of their power, even though it is all legal, and Daniel is furious at their generational privilege. The Breuils’ business is to package luxury goods and transport them across the world. Daniel starts working in the perfume department, where they take care of a brand called Colin Brown. One day, when Breuil Sr. passes away, and Patrick takes over the company, his wife distributes perfume bottles to the employees as a token of thanks and appreciation. Daniel sold that on the internet, and the money he made gave him the idea to continue ripping off the Breuils. Daniel gets himself assigned to trash duty with some racist talk, and that is how he ends up stealing the perfume bottles that fetch him a fortune online over time. Riding this success, Daniel gets a little arrogant, and when he meets a woman in a bar, Virginie, he overreaches by lying and bragging about how successful he is. Of course, Virginie turns out to be a manager at Breuil, and soon enough, Daniel finds the police at his house. Lucky for him, they are satisfied with the answers he gives, namely that he was only selling the complimentary perfume he got when Patrick was promoted. But Daniel is stubborn, and he doesn’t give up on asking out Virginie, to which she ends up saying a tentative yes. On the other hand, we don’t think Virginie sent the police to his house at all. Someone must have found something off about his online activity, and they came to investigate. In fact, the latter scenario is more likely.
Daniel knows that he cannot sell the perfumes online any longer without alerting the authorities, and that is when he runs into Titou and Raoul, who sell Apple products at discounted rates in the black market. These two men become Daniel’s retailers, and business is once again safe and booming. But when it comes to business, one solution often means that there is a new problem to deal with. Chief Kowalski comes to know what Daniel and Scania are up to, and he demands a huge cut for his silence. But Daniel is not ready to let that go, and he beats him up, threatens to reveal his scam with the contracts, and orders him to go on leave for six months and leave them alone. Having no choice, Kowalski does accordingly, but as we said, this opens the doors for another problem. Beatrice encourages Patrick to sell the business so that they can settle down somewhere and get away from it all, something they have both wanted to do for a while. Therefore, Patrick brought about some minor changes in management while pursuing a lucrative deal with Brice Nougarolis. One of the changes is to promote Daniel to Kowalski’s post, which means that Daniel can no longer steal perfumes as he wants to.
In the meantime, Virginie is furious with Patrick for making her waste a year of her career with a training program, only to push her behind when it came to actual promotions in the company. Infuriated, she ends up joining hands with Daniel, and they hatch a plan to take this operation to the next level. The new security system scanned the boxes and not the number of bottles, so going by volume, it allowed for a margin of error of 1.1%. All Daniel had to do was steal less than 1.1% of the bottles, and he could get away with it all. The next step for Daniel is to build a team of his own, where everyone gets their cut from the sales and the operation continues to run smoothly. We don’t want to say it again, but this is the same pattern of a solution leading to a problem. When Patrick notices a leak in one of the storage areas, he finds a lot of the boxes empty when he tries to move them, which makes him realize that he is being robbed. When he confides in his wife about it, she tells Brice Nougarolis, whom she was having an affair with and who will now use this as a bargaining chip to drive down the price of Breuil’s empire.
It is funny how Brice immediately hires a private investigator, Ange, to find out who is behind the mess while all Patrick does is talk to Virginie about it. While Virginie and Daniel have a falling out because the latter refused to slow down the operation in light of the business, even the PI and Brice part ways when Ange asks for more time, which Brice refuses to give. Surprisingly, Ange anonymously joins hands with Patrick and gives him proof of Beatrice and Brice’s affair while telling him that he will find the stolen stock before the sale so that he can get his fair price for the company. Basically, Ange is double-crossing Daniel for Patrick and getting too greedy with what he can do.
‘Gold Brick’ Ending Explained: Does Patrick Sell Breuile & Co.?
The deal between Ange and Patrick was that he would bring back the stock in exchange for money. But at the exchange point where Ange is supposed to pick it up, Daniel and Scania catch him, though he manages to escape.
The thing is that though we are rooting for the success of Daniel throughout Gold Brick, we have also developed a soft spot for Patrick, who has proven himself to be a decent guy. Sure, he is entitled and a little dull, but he is not a brat, and he doesn’t deserve to suffer the losses orchestrated by Brice and Daniel. In fact, contrary to what Daniel thought, Patrick remembered that they went to elementary school together, proving that he was not so insensitive after all. Maybe that is what Virginie also feels, and she comes up with a plan for him to save himself. Since Daniel has already sold off the stolen perfumes, he would need to steal an amount equal to them, which would be compensated by the insurance money. Once that happens, Daniel will replace the stolen bottles, and it will all even out. But Daniel profited nothing from it, and he was not okay with that. Therefore, at the end of Gold Brick, he comes up with another plan.
Right after Patrick got the insurance money, Daniel replaced the stock with golden-looking water instead of perfume. Therefore, when the audit went through and the ownership was transferred to Nougarolis, he would be the one to take the fall for this fiasco while Daniel continued making his final profit. This was the scheme in place, and it was successful, with Patrick making the sale, Daniel getting his money, and Ange being left with nothing. A drunk man accidentally kills Ange when he hears the noises made by him and mistook him for a wild animal. As for Daniel, he buys out Breuile & Co. from Nougarolis, turns it into his own cosmetics line, and gets back together with Virginie. Finally, he knocks down the billboard in front of his house, and they have a view of the cathedral once again.
Gold Brick is a wildly entertaining movie; if only you can give it your undivided attention. Maybe that is why it would have benefited from a longer runtime, say 20 more minutes, that would have allowed for a presentation of the story that audiences could have better followed. In fact, we would say that this story would have been great as a short series as well. Hopefully, we can get that sometime soon.