Blackjack as movie theme and background
Blackjack, or Twenty-One – as it’s often called outside the US – is one of the most popular card games out there. Many have dedicated their lives to tame the math behind it and become masters of it. Because it affects people’s imagination so much, blackjack is a theme often used in movies where it can serve various purposes.
The first film to mention is called 21, as it approaches the subject from a fascinating, technical point of view. But of course, it’s not like you are being inundated with facts and explanations of various intricacies all the time. After all, the most crucial part of any movie is always to tell a good story. Plus, there are a lot of other plots and sub-plots that viewers can enjoy.
The story concentrates around a college math professor Mickey Rosa, portrayed by Kevin Spacey and six MIT students who would go around the famous Las Vegas and win a lot of money thanks to their intellectual abilities. Those are the exact guys that every casino establishment doesn’t want as regular guests. It’s not even like they discovered some big blackjack secrets, but simply used math – the core of universe – to put themselves in a position of advantage.
The same concept about the game, which is the power of memory and math skills, is shared by the classic Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise movie that won four academy awards. Rain Man from 1988 is focusing less on the game itself, and that’s because, in its complexity, it is so much more, and has so much to offer to the viewer. It is one of the most memorable road trip films, with two main characters – estranged brothers – bonding over the course of their journey, and learning that there are more important things in life than money. Besides that, the performances of Cruise, and Hoffman, who played autistic savant with superhuman ability to remember things, are simply astounding.