The lines are more than blurred

posted May 10, 2015, 10:38 AM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Jun 7, 2015, 12:25 PM ]

I grew up when it was easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Good guys always wore white hats. It was a simple formula that worked.

Years later, the lines blurred to shades of gray. All of a sudden, there were good guys having to do bad things for the right reason. Justification for their actions was questioned, but they were still good guys.

As time marched on, the line disappeared altogether. The good guys are actually bad guys with little or no redeeming value. Even though you try to justify their actions, you can’t.

I just finished watching, “The Gambler.” It has a good cast including Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Michael K. Williams, and Jessica Lange. It is rated ‘R’ for the tough language and brief nudity.

From my perspective, the premise of the movie is about a literature professor and author with a severe gambling addiction. His view of the world is so distorted that he doesn’t value anything. Even if he wins, he continues to gamble until he loses. He goes so far down the sewer that there doesn’t seem to be a way for him to break free. As the movie progressed, I struggled to find some reason to like him, but I couldn’t. This is high praise for Mark Wahlberg’s acting ability. There were also moments where some philosophical lessons in life were imparted. I believe this was done to create a blurred line as to who was good and bad … almost everyone has some redeeming qualities–right?

I won’t spoil the movie by giving away what takes place or how it ends, but I questioned whether it was worth two hours of my time afterward. Of course, you need to forgive me because my perspective of the world was distorted in my childhood. Good guys should always wear white hats.