Steven Bello’s Review: Casino

 The movie Casino is a classic, highly underrated Italian mafia thriller that should get as much attention as Scorcese’s previous masterpiece  5 years earlier, the almost untouchable Goodfellas. The plot of this film is very interesting and basically tells the tale of Sam “Ace” Rothstein who is played by great Robert De Niro who is running the Tangiers Casino and calls his friend from Chicago Nicky Santoro who is played by Joe Pesci to help him keep things in check. The mafia or the “outfit” is scamming the casinos for millions of dollars and are the ones secretly running Las Vegas. As someone who has seen many mafia films from The Godfather, to The Untouchables, and the notorious Goodfellas which is a fan favorite, I personally believe the story that is told in this film is the best and most in depth and we see many action packed scenes, to soft comedy, and much character development. 


     Most people who have seen both these masterpieces will probably side with Goodfellas being overall the better and more enjoyable film to watch but personally I disagree. There is something about this film that to me makes it stand out more than the others, the first time i fully watched this film from beginning to end I became obsessed and wanted to know more so I started doing research and watching documentaries on the true story behind the movie and what differences that they didn’t exactly replicate or include in the film that happened in real life. I immediately fell in love and automatically knew it was my new number one favorite not only mafia film but favorite film Martin Scorcese ever produced. 


    One of the main reasons I think I love this film is because of how brutal the story is told and how ruthless some of these characters are like Nicky Santaro who is played by Joe Pesci. Mr. Pesci usually plays the psychopath in these films and he’s damn good at it but his character in casino stands out and I think is even worse and far more unpredictable than Tommy “2 Gun” Devito which is the wiseguy he plays in Goodfellas. We see plenty of examples of his bloodlust in many scenes throughout the movie and I love how Scorcese shows it. From Nicky putting someone’s head in a vice, to stabbing someone to death with an expensive pen because he called his friend a jagoff. He is a complete psychopath and very much different and the total opposite of his friend in the movie who is the owner of the casino Sam Rothstein who is played by the legendary Robert De Niro. We see much more smarter thoughts and actions and more rational thinking by Sam because he just wants to run a successful regular casino with no problems, no stress, and no heat but sadly Nicky goes upon things like an animal and not rational at all so we see Sam’s character in depthly develop and slowly distance himself from his long friend Nicky. 


    Not only are the characters interesting to watch, the scenes are action packed and high energy, and it’s funny while doing it all, the music and classic soundtrack picked for this movie does not disappoint. Martin Scorcese has always nailed what music he picks for his films and it fits the scene perfectly the way he executes it. During this film we see much happen and much go wrong. After a while Sam’s casino which used to be a goldmine isn’t really doing as successful and well as it was before. Which means that the bosses back home aren’t getting the money they fancy. The bosses that are secretly controlling this whole operation in Vegas come from all over the midwest and hold meetings and important sit downs in the back of some italian meat market in Kansas City. From the beginning of the movie all the way to the end we see much go wrong and much take a turn for the worse. We see Tangiers Casino boss Sam Rothsetin get jammed up with some illegal actions and cannot get his gaming license which restricts him and holds him back a lot. We see the women he married and treated like gold turn on him, bringing drugs and alcohol abuse into the mix, and sleeping with other men behind Sam’s back like Sam’s good “friend” Nicky Santoro.