Isaac is an army veteran turned professional gambler when a chance for a grim rebalancing appears in Paul Schrader’s vehement drama

Here is a film about gambling from writer-director Paul Schrader and producer Martin Scorsese that begins with a closeup of the queen of spades – I’m betting it’s a sly reference to the Thorold Dickinson classic of the same title, about the game Faro, in which that card is such a terrible omen of ill fortune.

Schrader has created another drama about obsessive masculinity, fragile hope and potent despair competing for dominance in the heart of a man roaming a nocturnal world of sin – naturally it’s impossible not to see the echo of Schrader’s screenplay for the 1976 classic Taxi Driver. What did Travis Bickle actually do in Vietnam? (Or is the whole point that we don’t know?) And what if instead of a young girl Travis was trying to redeem it was a young man, a younger version of himself?

Continue reading…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *