Spotlight Blog: The Gambler (2014)
Written by Matt
Published date · Aug. 21, 2020 | Last Updated · Dec. 14, 2022 | Read Time: 2 mins
We now have the long-awaited return of our spotlight blog series. In our third edition, we are looking at the 2014 remake of the classic casino movie, The Gambler.
Read next: Top 5 Films set in and around casinos
The Gambler stars Mark Wahlberg and Brie Larson. The film follows the life of Jim Bennett and in this blog, we will briefly run you through the plot and talk through any iconic or standout moments, whilst also trying to avoid any spoilers.
The Gambler plot
Jim Bennett is a Literature professor in LA but has an eventful nightlife as a gambler. However, it turns out Jim might not be on the best run in the casino. He ends up owing $200,000 to Lee, who is the owner of an exclusive, high stakes underground gambling ring. Jim also owes $50,000 to Neville Baraka, who is the local loan shark. Lee gives Jim seven days to pay off his debt or he will be sleeping with the fishes.
However, there does turn out to be one person on Jim’s side and that is one of his students. Amy Phillips (Brie Larson). Amy is singled out in one of the classes and is told by Jim that because of her quiet nature she is the most likely to have a career in literature. After this moment, Jim identified Amy as a writing prodigy and has also seen her work ethic from seeing her waitressing at the underground casino.
The two then begin to have a personal relationship, which in Jim’s head makes him think his worth is actually worth something.
It is in his relationship with Amy, that the main action sequence comes from. Baraka gives an ultimatum to Jim that if he does not convince a basketballer to win his game by a particular scoreline or he will kill Amy.
Baraka feels though the debt to Lee will complicate things so he lends Jim the mone to deal with that end of the bargain. Instead, Jim uses it to place a bet on the game with Lee, after he is assaulted by Lee’s men. He uses part of the money to bribe the basketball player.
To know if Jim’s plan comes to fruition then you will have to watch the film to find out the rest………
Blackjack Houdini Hand
One of the best examples of a table game in action, is a scene where Jim joins a table of blackjack with Amy also at the table. After putting down $10,000 on the table, we get to see Jim show us almost Houdini like intuition to win a hand of blackjack. The scene continues as Amy leaves the table and we see how a night at the table goes for Jim and it is truly one of the best casino based scenes in the movie. Check it out below:
Thus ends spotlight blog number three, if you are interested to see our other spotlight blogs, one focused on the cult classic video game Fallout: New Vegas and the other on the modern Bond hit Casino Royale.