A casino is an establishment for gambling. Some casinos are standalone facilities, while others are combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships or other tourist attractions. They are usually very flashy and extravagant, with bright colors like red, a popular choice for decoration because it is believed to encourage gamblers’ confidence and energy. Casinos use music and lighting to create a fun and upbeat atmosphere, as well as high-quality games that require skill and strategy to play.
The people who gamble at a casino are, on the surface, a pretty diverse bunch. There are the seasoned regulars who strut about with their heads held high and their fingers crossed, expecting to win big; the novices who are hoping to make back what they lost in the previous round; and the shady characters who are trying to cover their tracks. However, they all have one thing in common – they’re having a good time! With music blaring, coins clinking and the cheers of fellow gamblers, it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement.
It is this liminal space that Scorsese captures so beautifully in Casino. Not just between Victorianism and Modernism, but between the rough blur of underworld gangsters and the bloodless world of big business, with its own foibles and corruptions. The interplay between Ace and Nicky is portrayed with both conviction and ambivalence, even as the film’s truly hellacious violence (a torture-by-vice sequence that features a popped eyeball and a baseball bat beating that had to be censored) underscores the former.