Apple TV+’s ‘Sharper’ is a thriller that follows a set of people who get embroiled in a series of cons. Told in different characters each from the perspective of a different character, the film keeps the audience hooked by playing with the timeline. Its non-linear storytelling turns it into a complex story where the intentions and motivations of the characters are not revealed until it’s already too late for them. While it is thrilling to watch, the lack of chronological order can also be a bit confusing at times. Here, we have arranged the events in the film linearly to give you the full picture of what’s actually going on in it. SPOILERS AHEAD
The story of ‘Sharper’ takes place over five chapters, each taking place from the perspective of a different character, arranged in a non-chronological order. Here we have arranged the chapters chronologically to give you an idea of what the timeline actually looks like.
The first two chapters of the film follow the story from the perspective of Tom and Sandra, but it isn’t until the third chapter that the real con comes to the surface. Madeline and Max are introduced as a complex mother-and-son duo. By the time we meet her, Madeline has already found her way into the life of Richard Hobbes, a billionaire who is in the final years of his life. Max is presented as her troubled son who has spiraled out of control.
Out of his love for Madeline, Richard decides to pay off Max to stay out of her life. Max receives more than seven hundred thousand dollars as an advanced payment. It is now that we discover that Madeline and Max are not mother and son. They are in fact lovers and had been conning Richard Hobbes. The plan was to get the money from him and they run away with it. By the end, however, Madeline changes her mind. She discovers that Richard is so in love with her that he will never discover her lies. He asks her to marry him and she agrees, leaving Max in a lurch.
Sandra and Tom’s Chapters
Madeline could have run away with the money that Richard tried to bribe Max with. But why settle for a few hundred thousand when she could have billions? She knows that as Richard’s wife, she will get enough money from his will to spend the rest of her life in luxury. That would have worked out well for her, but then she gets greedier. She knows that the first person to have a claim on the inheritance would be Tom. So, she decides to get him out of the way.
She reunites with Max to pull a con on Tom. This is when Max finds Sandra and trains her for the job. After becoming the person that Tom could fall in love with, she walks into Tom’s bookstore, and this is when the film begins. Tom falls in love with Sandra and when he discovers that she needs money to save herself from some very dangerous people, he gives her $350,00. They were supposed to meet up after she had given away the money, but she never shows up. This is when Tom realizes that he has been duped.
The fact that Tom gave away so much money to a strange girl without inquiring about her or looking into her background to find out if she was legit or not does sit well with his father. The betrayal from Sandra also breaks Tom who had already been going through a tough time. He has a nervous breakdown, and this combined with negligence with money leaves his father no other choice but to give him a nominal part of his inheritance, leaving the chunk of it to Madeline. Tom is given the Richard Hobbes Foundation but Madeline is made its trustee. On the surface, Madeline acts as if Tom should get his rightful share. Deep down, however, she is finally relieved that her plan has worked and she is now a billionaire.
Sandra’s Second Chapter
While Sandra was complicit in conning Tom, she felt guilty about ruining the life of an innocent man. When she discovers that his father is dead, she comes back to him and reveals everything about Max and Madeline. With the help of Tipsy, they come up with a plan to con Madeline and get Tom’s inheritance back. Sandra is brought back into the picture, but she makes it look like she has fallen into drugs because she is heartbroken over Max’s betrayal.
To make Sandra happy, Madeline reaches out to Max. They meet in an empty parking lot where Tom arrives as well. The showdown ends with Tom getting shot. When it looks like Madeline will go down for his murder, she bargains for her freedom by giving away the entire inheritance to Richard’s foundation. Believing that Tom is dead, she thinks that as the trustee she will still have access to the foundation. It isn’t until she and Max are already on a plane out of New York that she realizes that Tom and Sandy have conned her.
Read More: Is Sharper Based on a True Story or a Book?