“Croupier” is an atmospheric piece that captures the reality of casino life. While there is nothing mind-blowing about the plot, the film shines through the interior monologues that expose the dark emotions of its characters. Clive Owen’s unique voice is perfect for these monologues. It isn’t his best film, but I can see how he gained notoriety in the film world with this performance. The setting is different than most gambling movies. We aren’t used to seeing casinos without the glam and lights of Vegas, but it focuses the attention on this character being sucked into the underworld of casinos. I was excited to see that this film had a heist in it but was disappointed that we didn’t get to see any of the details; instead, the heist is just an event that happens without much pomp and circumstance. There is a minor twist at the end that is executed without much surprise, but that is not surprising since the focus of this film is not the plot. If I’m going to watch “Croupier” again,” it will be for the atmosphere and not for the gambling.
[Pictured: Clive Owen's internal monologues steal the show.]