Props matter and that is the fact of the matter. More often than not, a majority of viewers would watch a film at the theatre and fail to notice the significance of the objects that the protagonists utilises to achieve his or her goals. It is only the eagle-eyed movie buffs and well-trained film grads that pay heed to these details. However, in most cases the filmmaker deliberately selects every single prop that his characters use on screen, and we are here to dig in deeper for you.
To illustrate, many a director has used milk as the symbolism of innocence and purity in ironically notorious, cold-blooded roles. Something so virtuous and chaste is frequently used to portray the duality of the human nature. In other words, a thing so simple can refer to a diapason of concepts, and only those who care will notice.
Entirely Different, Yet Similar
Gambling is on the other side of the same scope. Often overlooked for its openness and straightforwardness, spending time at casinos is disregarded due to stereotypes that surround it. A hobby for some and lifestyle for others, gambling on film is much more than a bunch of cards and chips scattered on a green table. To exemplify what we are hinting at, a few practical instances need to be thrown in.
To avoid any clichés, we will steer away from the James Bond franchise, which is indeed the textbook example of what we’d like to present here. Instead, we will be focusing on the Martin Scorsese 1995 classic Casino. We will not be wasting your time praising or spoiling this masterpiece, if we may say so ourselves. You deserve the right to see it for yourself and esteem its qualities based on your personal criteria. We will be assuming the role of your assistant and highlighting the metaphorical meaning of the activity the whole movie revolves around.
Enjoying gambling is perceived as means of destruction, both of the self and one’s personal relationships. Ace Rothstein, played by Robert De Niro, dissociates from his best friend Nicky (Joe Pesci) as he falls in love with a hustler (Sharon Stone) who strays him away from all that mattered to him by luring him into the glamorous life of casino.
Similarly, the 2009 comedy The Hangover, sees a group of guy friends who come so close to breaking off a marriage due to the addiction to gambling and having a bit too much fun. But is gambling really about wasting potential and demolishing all value in your life?
Bending the Character?
Now, remember the duality we mentioned a few lines before? Ignore the conventional attitude towards the trade for a second and stop pigeonholing what’s unfamiliar. Let’s take the opportunity to look at the issue from a different perspective. The disparity between the first set of motion pictures and the following might shock you.
Modern culture has paid homage to the traditional game of Blackjack in the Legally Blonde director Robert Luketic gambling-inspired release symbolically titled 21.
Starring Jim Sturgess and the legend Kevin Spacey, 21 is centred on a student in pursue of easy money, who resorts to Blackjack to get him what he wants. In this particular model, note that the leading role is a young, seemingly easily impacted person who takes the matter into his own hands, and guess what – he succeeds in his intentions, and it is not pure luck that gets him there. Have your mind open and expect the unexpected; the hero of the film does not end up greedy and violent. Perhaps you should take a look at it for yourself.
No Room for Stereotypes
We can just hope we have opened your eyes a little bit. Judgment is a faulty practice, and all it leads to is further discrepancy and misunderstanding. Why wouldn’t we all attempt to embrace that no thing in this world is either black or white?
If you prefer to engage in in-depth discussion on the symbolism on film, perchance your next subject should be mouth-watering scenes in cinematography, as seen in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. That might get you started.