Casinos are filled with sensory input – dazzling lights, the sound of clinking slot machines and the scent of gambling excitement. These inputs create a manufactured euphoria that keeps people coming back for more gambling action. But the design of a casino goes far beyond lighting and visual media. Other elements – such as acoustics, layout and event and entertainment space – are critical to the casino’s success.
Robert De Niro’s Sam “Ace” Rothstein has a worldview that seems at odds with his status as Las Vegas’ reigning bettor extraordinaire. He believes that love and trust are dicey propositions and it’s best to rely on blind chance. This ethos is at the heart of Casino, a movie that examines the dark side of Vegas.
Following the success of Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese opted to adapt Casino. The film was well received and established him as a director capable of producing violent, profane movies that evoked both the thrills and the pitfalls of wise-guy street life. The film also featured a star turn for Joe Pesci and solidified their pairing.
Casino is a tense and riveting thriller that never sags in the middle or runs out of steam towards the end. It’s one of the longest movies Scorsese has ever made and yet it manages to keep up the pace without lagging or getting bogged down in unnecessary violence. The movie is an epic of corruption and greed and it doesn’t shy away from the heinous.