‘Gambling is not about money. Gambling is about not facing reality, ignoring the odds.’
So what’s the golden rule of gambling-‘Quit when you’re ahead’. And here is the story of the man who really wanted to quit when he was ahead. Did the golden rule change his life? Off course, yes but than it has its own pitfall. Here is one of the underrated British films, an absolutely crisp, tautly executed thriller drama made by Mike Hodges, the man who gave us absolutely mind-blowing ‘Get Carter’ starring firebrand Michael Caine, a role of lifetime. ‘Croupier’ has brilliant narration and captivating script (deserves two thumbs up for Paul Mayersberg) accompanied by wonderful lines and plot that keeps your fingers crossed for twists and turns of Casino’s roulette ball. Hodges like an insider shows us the relentlessly sleazy and yet hypnotic world of casino joints, punters, boss and croupiers.
One has to watch Clive Owen here as suave and focused professional croupier Jack Manfred, must say one of his finest act for sure; do watch ‘the seasoned hands of the conjurer’ and an underground man who knows pretty damn how to deal with cards and bets, blackjack or roulette. He’s detached voyeur working in casino and a man of contradiction or ‘enigma’ as told by his girlfriend. Behind his croupier job lies a face of desperate novelist seeking an insider story of his subject. He remains Mr. Clean who doesn't gamble and doesn’t cheat unlike others until he fall into trap of another professional, the mysterious woman at casino table. While playing real and literary double life of croupier, he soon discovers a heavy price to pay. And we see jack quote Hemingway to the fellow- “The world breaks everyone. And afterwards many are strong at the broken places.” And as the movie ends the unexpected way, we see the wicked smile on the face of the croupier where he no longer heard the sound of the ball.