The Unforgettable Brilliance of Martin Scorsese’s “Casino”
Considered one of Martin Scorsese’s greatest achievements, “Casino” often remains momentarily overlooked in comparison to his other acclaimed works such as “Goodfellas” and “Taxi Driver.” However, this epic crime film, released in 1995, deserves the increasing critical recognition it has garnered over the past 26 years. With a runtime just shy of three hours, “Casino” captivates viewers with its intricate characters, compelling stories, and the masterful direction of Scorsese.
Revisiting 1990s Scorsese
In the 1990s, Scorsese delivered two anxiety-riddled masterpieces: “Goodfellas” and “Casino.” While “Goodfellas” took audiences deep into the Mafia world, “Casino” provides a unique blend of the casino business and criminal activities. Through the expertly crafted screenplay by Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi, who also wrote the book the film is based on, these two interconnected worlds collide, depicting their symbiotic and destructive relationship.
Robert De Niro shines as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, a gambling expert tasked with overseeing a Las Vegas casino for the Italian-American Mafia. His portrayal displays Ace’s complexities, showcasing both his extraordinary managerial skills and the darker aspects of his personality. Joe Pesci, known for his unpredictable and violent roles, delivers a memorable performance as Nicky Santoro, representing the sinister side of the Mafia. Together, De Niro and Pesci bring raw intensity and depth to their respective characters.
The Empowering Complexity of Ginger McKenna
Sharon Stone’s portrayal of Ginger McKenna, Ace’s eventual wife, is a standout in “Casino.” The character of Ginger breaks free from the typical one-dimensional depictions of women in Scorsese’s films. Ginger, a woman navigating a male-dominated world, exudes strength and resilience, consistently challenging those around her. Stone’s Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated performance breathes life into Ginger’s complexity, making her a truly remarkable character.
Scorsese’s Signature Style and Collaborations
Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese’s revered editor since 1980, once again demonstrates her exceptional talent in “Casino.” The film’s snappy editing, combined with Scorsese’s distinctive techniques such as mobile camerawork and freeze frames, intensify its relentless pace. These stylistic choices ensure that “Casino” never loses momentum, propelling the story towards its gripping and destructive conclusion.
A Lesson in Crime and Entertainment
“Casino” delivers a breathless experience, combining dynamic camerawork, seamless editing, captivating rock music, and compelling monologues. Although it may not possess the same complete masterpiece status as Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” or “Goodfellas,” it showcases the director and his frequent collaborators operating at the peak of their abilities. The film offers viewers an astonishingly energetic and entertaining journey, simultaneously feeling like a history lesson about the Mafia and a thrilling cinematic experience.
Martin Scorsese’s “Casino” stands as a testament to the director’s remarkable storytelling expertise. The film’s richly detailed screenplay, exceptional performances, and stylistic choices make it a compelling addition to Scorsese’s filmography. “Casino” may have momentarily slipped from the forefront of cinematic discussions, but its enduring impact on crime films and Scorsese’s legacy cannot be overlooked.
1. What makes “Casino” different from other Scorsese films?
Unlike Scorsese’s previous Mafia-oriented works, “Casino” strikes a unique balance between the casino business and the criminal underworld, providing a fresh perspective on organized crime.
2. How long is “Casino”?
With a runtime just shy of three hours, “Casino” offers an immersive and detailed experience for viewers who revel in Scorsese’s storytelling prowess.
3. Has “Casino” received any awards or nominations?
Yes, Sharon Stone’s exceptional performance as Ginger McKenna earned her a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination, solidifying her place among the talented cast of “Casino.”
4. Is “Casino” available for digital streaming?
“Casino” is currently available for digital streaming and on-demand viewing in the United States. It will also be released digitally in the United Kingdom on February 27, 2023.
5. Where can I pre-order the film?
To pre-order “Casino” for digital release and experience its astonishing energy and entertainment, click here.