Movie Review: ‘The Gambler’

While The Gambler of 2014 may not have the best ratings, the story has left people thinking. Superficially, the film expresses the dangers of underground casinos. On the other hand, the more analytical message speaks of the destructive vices people use to fill a void. Keep reading for a closer look at this movie and the overlap with reality.

The Story
The plot of the film focuses on a college professor named Jim Bennet. He finds a way to escape the wrecking reality of giving up on his dreams, by going on a self-destructive rampage. Since he’s a risk-taker, Jim gets drawn to high-stakes illegal casinos.

As one would expect, he builds up an excessive amount of debt and puts his own life in danger. He owes $245,000 to the casino owner, as well as $50,000 to a dirty loaner. The plot thickens when he’s given a week to pay off his debt, or he’s going to be killed.

Professionally, he grows frustrated with his students’ lack of interest to fulfill their dreams. In his frustration, he calls them out by reminding them that if they can’t be exemplary, then they should resign themselves to mediocrity. He then goes on to identify one stellar student, Amy, with the potential for a writing career.

Because of his mounting debts, he goes to his mother for more money. After some back and forth, she ultimately gives him the money to pay off his debts. However, ending here would make the movie rather dull.

Instead, he goes on a gambling spree with Amy and loses it all. Jim then finds himself in a tangled web. The challenges he faces include large accumulated debts to various dangerous people, death threats, match-fixing, and bribery.

He must convince one of his students who are on the school’s basketball team to win the next match by 7 points or less. This is a type of match-fixing known as point shaving because rather than bet on the result, they’re betting on the margin of victory.

The race is on to place winning bets and gamble his way toward saving everyone he loves, because if the basketball team doesn’t win by 7 points, Amy will be murdered by the loan shark.

One more loan shark gets involved, and he gives Jim the money needed to pay off the debt to the casino owner. He then goes to the loan shark that he owes $50,000 and asks for more money. He uses that amount to bribe one student that was on the basketball team and about a quarter of a million dollars to place one more bet.

He uses a student as a proxy and gets him to go to Las Vegas, to also place a bet on the game being fixed. He uses the money won from the bet placed in Vegas, to pay off the half-million that he owes. From there he goes to the streets of LA to Amy’s apartment, debt-free and happy!

Movie Perception vs Reality
The Gambler movie reviews are mixed. The film is a remake that can’t compare to the original. These mixed feelings depending on who is watching the video. If looking at the surface, you’d see the trouble that Jim has found himself in due to his addiction. If looking more in-depth, you may find the hidden representation and messages in the movie.

The fact is that on the surface, the movie depicts the potentially dangerous side of gambling: the accumulated debts, underground casinos, loan sharks, and gangsters. Whether betting at a land-based or online casino, these could be real threats.

Professionals like Michelle Thomas can share their knowledge in Canadian online casino reviews to identify and steer them away from potential scams. These reviews help many people spot the potentially dangerous online casinos and avoid any problems that may come with it.

Preventing Gambling Debts in Canada
Gambling debt in Canada is as big a problem as the common flu. Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself in this situation. This comparison is fitting since addiction classifies as an illness, and gambling is highly addictive.

For many people, a significant disruption in their lives – as in the movie – indicates their gambling problem. While it doesn’t reach these extremes, problem gambling can completely disrupt your financial situation. In some cases, it may even lead to alienation from the people you love the most. How do you avoid this downward spiral? Here are a few tips:

• If gambling online, make use of Canadian online casino reviews to eliminate any deceptive sites and the gambling limits on some websites.
• If gambling at a land-based casino, go with friends to hold each other accountable
• Set a budget and stick to it. Never borrow money to gamble or cover gambling debts

The film, The Gambler speaks to those who share the sentiment of wanting more of their daily lives. When looking at the superficial message of the movie, it does raise some red flags about the dangers of gambling.

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