Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg as a Gambler

The famous 1974 movie ‘The Gambler’ is back on the big screen with a new cast Mark Wahlberg plays the lead this time and can be clearly seen having lost quite a few pounds for the role.

The plot

After having written one novel, Wahlberg starts his life afresh as a college professor. Hailing from a wealthy family and inheriting nothing, he lives a quiet life. However, he gets addicted to gambling and in a big way. His character Jim Bennett is under heavy debt due to his addiction and owes money to Korean mobsters and loansharks. Though he is in a bad place, he receives no sympathy from other characters as he himself is responsible for all of his problems. He ends up putting himself as collateral when he figures out that there is no way to get out of the mountains of gambling debt.

Performances and comparisons

A remake is bound to be compared with its predecessor and here too it is inevitable. The 2014 version appears like a good treat for the fans of the older version. However, the film fails to recreate the magic of the 1974 version.

As far as the performances of the actors go, the supporting cast comes off better than Wahlberg’s portrayal of the main character. Just as the characters didn’t have sympathy for him; the viewers will also have little or no sympathy for Jim Bennett. Even though Mark Wahlberg lost close to 60 pounds for the role, it seems to have gone in vain. He mentioned being on a diet of just almond milk for six weeks, while continuing his workout regime and hours of daily work.

Wahlberg is known for his performances in films like ‘the Fighter’. However, this one slightly missed the mark. Shot in Los Angeles, the cinematography is quite good, especially in outdoor scenes. Under the direction of Karel Reisz, the movie has quite a few good scenes like the blackjack one. The writer James Toback has done a good job and the score by Theo Green and Jon Brion is fine too.