A casino is a place where people gamble with money in exchange for a chance at winning. Casinos make profit by encouraging people to spend their money gambling for a long period of time, and they do this by creating a euphoric environment where people feel happy. The lighting, ambiance, and music in casinos are all designed to make guests feel good and want to keep playing.
The characters in Casino are mired in violence, treachery, and avarice. There are no good guys in this movie, and even though the plot is based on real events, it’s hard to believe these characters could ever exist. Nevertheless, Scorsese depicts them with such a sense of authenticity that we are left feeling sympathy for their downfalls.
While some of the scenes in Casino are a bit over the top, the movie is riveting from beginning to end. The editing is taut, and the performances from De Niro and Pesci are excellent. While many movies portray Las Vegas in a glamorous way, Casino digs deep into the city’s history with organized crime while still showing the opulence and neon signs. The movie is a must see for anyone interested in learning more about the history of Vegas and how mob control slipped from its grips. It also makes a great companion piece to Scorsese’s other mob epic, Raging Bull.