Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Gambler (4/5, Good)

Mark Wahlberg's greatest role since The Fighter whose character falls into a downward spiral where nothing is forgiven. All because of his favorite sin: gambling.

Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is a literature professor during the day. At night he is possessed by the love of gambling. He is eccentric and believes that people are here in this world for a reason. Some are here to be great writers such as one of his attractive students (Jessica Lange) with who he is loving. Some others are here to enjoy life like if it was a game. Luck is not always a respectful friend. Getting more debts, Jim tries to find a way out of his life's darkest labyrinths.

In his 3rd film director Rupert Wyatt meets again with Wahlberg since Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and we are glad for that. Both men understand each other and know how to lead the story. It is thrilling, it is entertaining. We are being taken to dark places where money and luck only counts. Everyone is alienated by the adrenaline of their own fate: will their win or lose money? Wahlberg's character looks at that world with stranger's eye but however he is coopted by it. He has to gamble: it is his addiction. A shame that the film doesn't explore much the two-sided character that the script gives: a sensitive and romantic man to the world of literature and a cold and distant alienated gambler. 
Despite a few drawbacks in the script (cliché dialogues and an foreseeable ending) the movie aims to entertain and achieves it gratefully. This is definitely one of the best roles Wahlberg had ever had to take.We are disgusted and we feel empathy at the same time. That is something that good actors can only do and we never put Wahlberg in that category before.We are delighted with that surprise and look forward to see the duo Wyatt-Wahlberg again soon! 


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