Revisit The Gambler Image

The story of The Gambler is based on the gritty remake of a 1974 film directed by Karel Reisz and starred by James Caan. The director, James Toback, is telling a story of his real-life experiences as an addicted high stake gambler. In this film, Mark Wahlberg ( Jim Bennett) takes up the role he knows how to play very well. He has portrayed a college literature professor who is addicted to gambling. His gambling habit lands him in a huge debt of up to a quarter a million dollars ($240000) with a ruthless tycoon, Mr. Lee (Alvin Ing). Mr. Lee is the owner of an illegal gambling den where the professor regularly visits at weird hours. The best way out of this problem is through casino gambling.

“…a story of his real-life experiences as an addicted high stake gambler.”

Out of desperation, Jim makes an attempt of freeing himself by borrowing money from a leader of the American-African gang by the name Nevile Baraka (Michae Kenneth Williams). Unfortunately, his game plan fails and he becomes indebted to Neville as well. All these happens after his rich mother ( Jessica Lange) refuses to lend him money. Jessica is a wealthy tennis player with an appealing outlook. She is aware of her son’s problems but also his weaknesses. This prompts Jim to contacts a loan shark ( Frank), to sort him out with the amount he needed. Mr. Frank’s money came with a very bad threat in case he failed to honor the promise. To avoid crossing paths with his bosses, Jim is forced to participate in illegal gambling at night until he found this online platform. However, his night moves are burst by his three college students.

While at the college, Jim spends most of his time teaching his students about Shakespeare and Camus. In fact, he is shown discussing with students how most aspiring writers have failed to achieve their dreams. It is clear that most of the students lack the talent of becoming real writers but Jim tells them that it is not worth the effort. As a matter of fact, this is clearly evident in his recently published novel.

On the other hand, Jim is struggling to work out things with Lamar (Anthony Kelley), a celeb basketball player who is struggling with his literature grades in order to remain in the college. Jim advises his students that if you can’t be a role model then it better to resign to mediocrity. He is also in a love triangle with one of his students Amy (Brie Larson) who openly flirts him in class. He praises Amy and tells the students that she is the only potential writing prodigy in the whole class.

This screenplay written by the Oscar-award nominee, William Monahan (The Departed) has a solid plot. The story will compel you to start imagining Jim’s plan to the end. It is set with a ticking clock on his debts but does not clearly express empathy. His debtors have realized that threatening Jim or his family does not make any difference in his life. However, they decided to threaten his love-bird, Amy.

The author (Monahan) has given all characters in the film challenging dialogues to cause humor, although with some seriousness in it. You really don’t have to watch the original film to give credit to Welberghs exclusive work. In his previous remake films like Rise of the Planet Apes, the director has shown great skills of turning old films into new hitmakers. In every scene, the director executes the central role with determination and eloquence. Although Welbergh does not give the audience a clear picture of what changed Jim into a compulsory gambler, he has used all his tricks to keep the story flowing. Until the end of the script, Jim’s character seems to be unreachable and all you can do is pity him.

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  1. One of the best movies of the ’70s, and that’s saying something.

  2. vegus says:

    It’s a very good article.
    Please continue and publish again.
    I will follow.

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