The Gambler (Rupert Wyatt, 2014): USA

Reviewed by Vanessa Garnreiter. Viewed at AFIFest 2014.


The Director Rupert Wyatt made one clear. As soon as you started gambling it is not easy to escape. The World Premier of The Gambler at the AFIFest 2014 emphasizes the dangers on how gambling is able to take over someone’s life. The protagonist Jim Bennett played by Mark Wahlberg is a not so normal teacher. He lives his secret life as a gambler. The fact that he comes from a rich family gives him the possibility to get money easily. Bennett owes $240 K and begs his mother, played by Jessica Lange, to give him $260 K. The mother is devastated when she realizes that her son has a huge problem. As his mother she wants the best for him and just wants his problems to be gone. But is that the right way? Bennett falls in love with one of his students and realizes that if he won’t make it right with the people he owes the money to he will loos everything. The different scenes show various insights on a gambler’s life. However Bennetts life is in danger, so he gambles a last time to be free.

Rupert Wyatt made a good job keeping the audience on track and interested. The thing with the gambeling is the constant fear to loose. The specific camera shots makes us feel with the gambler and the audience was riveted to their seats. However Marc Wahlberg is known for many great films. In his speech after the World Premier of The Gambler Mark Wahlberg talkes about his effort to give the best for this film. In my point of view it is not the lack of effort it is the general story which is set in South Los Angeles.

As an English writer and film director, Rupert Wyatt created his third movie The Gambler. He achieved by making this film interesting for young as well as older people. Personally it was a great experience to see this movie at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. I liked that the film focuses on whats important in life. What really counts at the end of the day, is not gambeling for more money. It’s the people we love and care about.

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