Originally titled ‘Cash,’ Netflix’s ‘Gold Brick’ is a French comedy–drama film directed by Jérémie Rozan that follows protagonist Daniel Sauveur’s rags-to-riches journey in the Parisian luxury fragrance industry. In the middle of nowhere in the city of Chartres, Daniel, a kid from a low-income family, grows up detesting the Breuils, the town’s wealthiest business family. Despite his best efforts, he ends up working for their company Breuil & Sons as a warehouse worker. Things drastically change for him once he starts stealing luxury products from the company and selling them on the black market.
However, as Daniel’s scam grows, so does the risk that sends him down treacherous roads. Revolving around his enormous revenge plot against Breuil & Sons, the film depicts themes of rivalry between economic classes and employs a noticeably capitalism-critical stance. Due to the same, paired with the film’s base premise in France’s renowned fragrance industry, viewers might be curious to know more about the film’s connection to real-life. If so, here is everything we know about the origin of ‘Gold Brick.’
Is Gold Brick a True Story?
No, ‘Gold Brick’ is not based on a true story. Marking Jérémie Rozan’s debut as a director and a writer, ‘Gold Brick’ is entirely his brainchild and does not have any firm basis in reality. For the most part, the film gains its real-life relatability from its key foundation in a thriving luxury company, Breuil & Sons. Through the same, it makes socially relevant observations about generational wealth and how it affects class disparity within small towns.
In the story, the protagonist, Daniel, states most people must be familiar with Breuil & Sons since they must have experience with a similar family that inherits its social and financial capital through generations. As such, the film presents Breuil & Sons as a universally recognized symbol of wealth and power from the get-go, regardless of the company’s fictional origin. According to Cornell University, about 5.5 million family-owned businesses exist in the US, contributing about 57% to the country’s GDP.
Though these businesses can range in scale and market value, some good examples of such companies that evolved as industry giants would be Walmart, BMW, and Samsung Electronics, among others. The type of family business portrayed within ‘Gold Brick’ exists with a similar monopolistic hold over the market that always influences life for everyone else within the town to extreme measures. As a result, even though Daniel tries to start his own business, he still works for the same company after it consumes his start-up, displacing him from a job.
Through this storyline, the film effortlessly pitches Daniel as a relatable character with relatable struggles and worldviews for the viewers to empathize with. Actor Raphaël Quenard does a compelling job as the lead and infuses his character with the charm and likeability needed to carry the story. Therefore, by employing the classic “cheat the system” plotline, the film presents the audience with a band of misfits and a head con artist to root for. Over the years, the film industry has seen several similar movies detailing thrilling cons that completely change the lives of everyone involved.
Consequently, ‘Gold Brick’ may be reminiscent of movies like ‘American Hustle‘ and ‘Catch Me If You Can ‘ for some viewers. Similarly, the director’s artistic approach is also reminiscent of Martin Scorcese. With heavy utilization of montages and voiceover narration for plot progression, the film draws some parallels to the legendary filmmaker’s famous works like ‘Wolf of Wall Street‘ and ‘Casino.’ As such, it increases its realism by presenting an engaging story about a scam using familiar methods to evoke a sense of recollection in the audience.
Nevertheless, ‘Gold Brick’ has no basis in real-life events or people. Any sense of realism that it possesses comes from its familiar storyline and relatable characters. With riveting plotlines and an authentic exploration of wealth as it pertains to class disparity, the Netflix movie presents an entertaining fictional story with exciting twists and turns.
Read More: Where is Netflix’s Gold Brick Filmed?