The Card Counter Review?
Whether you are a long-time film fanatic or aren’t too interested in the world of movies, it’s difficult to avoid hearing about the wide array of films that are being released onto the market. ‘The Card Counter’ is one film that was released in 2021 and it offers a unique view of casinos and gambling. In fact, at the time, it was a highly anticipated release as it boasts a great cast and a riveting storyline focusing on risk and guilt in America. In this context, it is worth reviewing ‘The Card Counter’ to see if it is worth watching.
Firstly, ‘The Card Counter’ is is a film about gambling from writer-director Paul Schrader and producer Martin Scorsese and it begins with a closeup of the queen of spades. The story of ‘The Card Counter’ follows a gambler and former serviceman called William Tell played by Oscar Isaac who tries to help a young man who is trying to enact revenge on his long-term enemy. Although the film centers on the idea of poker and how to play it better, it achieves success in offering an insight into the importance of looking past the cards and reading your opponent which is something that is vital in real life casino games.
One important aspect of the film is card counting which is known as one of the most effective means to beat the casino. Card counting is a blackjack strategy used to see whether the player or the dealer has an advantage on the next hand. If you are interested in casino games and want to recreate the experience of watching this film, it is important to note that it is impossible at an online casino due to the automatic shuffling machines. This is because of the presence of RNGS which randomly reshuffle the deck after each turn. However, the good thing about online casinos is that there are an endless supply of casino games to choose from including slots and poker.
The plot of ‘The Card Counter’ is also a riveting factor intriguing many people to watch the film. It follows Tell who is a gambler that is well versed in the practice of counting cards, which he learned during his eight years in prison. Tell believes that in gambling, it is best to bet small and win modestly. The film follows Tell as he is set free into the world without a fixed address. His life is now characterised by trips to the casino where he plays blackjack and poker and learns to make a living off of them. In his trip to a casino, he comes across a character called La Linda who he knows from the casino scene. After attempting to collaborate with him, she is refused. The film is devoid of humour, colourful cinematography, or happiness in any of the characters as they try to make their way through life. In this sense, the film achieves success in making the audience feel uneasy at times through the dark and gloomy atmosphere of the motels and casino establishments.
Throughout the film, we are also made to question facets of Tell’s character as he embarks on carrying out strange behaviours such as unplugging the clock and phone in his hotel room and wrapping the furniture in white sheets and twine. Things take a turn when he goes to a casino that is hosting a law-enforcement conference. After being recognised by someone at this conference, Tell is inspired to take ‘Cirk’ played by Tye Sheridan with him as he bounces between casinos and he finally accepts La Linda’s offer to “stake” him. The film separates itself from other casino related films as the main character is presented more as a calculated mathematician rather than a risky gambler. It inspires the audience to ask many questions about his character and about the story overall, including his motives for trying to help other people and why he is keeping a handwritten journal.
Furthermore, the film is incredibly gripping as it is led by Oscar Isaac’s gripping performance which adds another weighty chapter to Paul Schrader’s long inquiry into man’s moral responsibility. A huge part of the film’s success is that it brings us along for the ride and allows to both escape into another world and relate to it. At times, the audience questions the type of character Tell is as he is plagued with conflicted thoughts and an inherent darkness that he carries throughout the movie. The pace of the movie is also slow allowing the audience to take the time to ruminate on the characters and the plot.
Ultimately, although ‘The Card Counter’ touches on many deep topics such as making mistakes, and exploring periods of depression, it promotes a message of salvation and excitement instilling a new found hope into the audience. If you haven’t watched this film before, you should certainly add it to your ‘to watch’ list.