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The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Yes. It is a wonderful story.

And an equally wonderful adaptation and direction via the quirky and talented Wes Anderson.

Full disclosure. This reviewer runs about 50/50 regarding the creative product helmed by Anderson. Sugar falls into the positive 50.

Benedict Cumberbatch, laying claim to the title THE NEW MICHAEL CAINE, since he appears in everything, is Henry Sugar.

If England had a Democrat Party, Sugar, as a Trustafarian would be one. He doesn't work; inherited his money; and spends his days in private clubs and casinos. Fortunately, unlike the American version of that political POV, Sugar does NOT tell everyone else how to live; confiscate their hard-earned money; and scream racist, sexist, homophobe in the faces of the very people he's just Robin Hooded.

He's a benign character.

Until Ben Kingsley enters the short film.

Kingsley is Imdad Khan, a performance artist who swears he can see without using his eyes.

And he can. He has a form of Superman X-ray vision. And, despite his head bound up in a doctors-imposed crown to neck turban, Khan passes every test imposed upon him by the appreciative crowd.

This so impresses Sugar, that Henry vows to achieve the same Yogi-imbued capability . . . so he can win at blackjack. Not exactly a noble undertaking. However, Henry Sugar trains himself and acquires the skill.

And Sugar is successful. He wins more than 30,000 English Pounds his first night out . . . but like the Grinch, he has a change of heart. The money isn't the catharsis to which Henry aspires.

Henry Sugar turns philanthropic.

Oh, he continues to fleece casinos, but now all over the world, using a variety of disguises and never frequenting the same casino more than once every six months.

The money finances a series of hospitals and orphanages, a noble effort initiated by a police officer played by Ralph Fiennes, who also plays Roald Dahl (The author of the short story "The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar") in the short.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a 39-minute commitment.

And worth seeing it with your eyes.


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