The Gambler, directed by Rupert Wyatt and starring Mark Wahlberg is a film that centre’s on the troubles Jim Bennet.
Bennett, played by Wahlberg is a man whose continued self destructive behaviour, especially at the most unexpected times, makes it clear to the audience early on, that here is an individual in the midst of a very serious existential crisis.
It’s apparent that Bennet has pain, but you’ll have to use your imagination for a much deeper explanation than the familial issues hinted at more than twice.
This isn’t the type of movie that plays easy. Some may even accuse Wyatt’s film of being somewhat uneven. True or not, the audience is definitely never left comfortable.
Either the viewer is quite rightly concerned for Bennett’s safety and the safety of those he cares about or they’re worried as to why he really doesn’t seem to care much about the consequences of his seemingly reckless actions.
The best thing about The Gambler for me, besides the individual performances (John Goodman being a particular highlight), is the dialogue. An element most would have had a taster of in the very well executed promotional trailer a few months earlier.
My exposure to Mark Wahlberg’s work has been largely focused on his comedic roles, so this was an overdue and welcome difference.