i remember in Mike Hodges’ Croupier there were lines like these on the voice over, “gambling is not about money,” the croupier who dyed his hair black for his work coldly, and almost wearily explains, (to his unconvinced fiancée, who was killed later in the film, and to his audience, very probably including he himself) “…it’s about the outright denial of the odds of life…” The croupier in the film, is also a writer striving for his first publication, he contemplates and takes on the tone of the subjects he is writing about, the gamblers themselves, “He wants to fuck over the whole world – to ruin himself and everyone else…” Strictly observing his professionalism throughout the whole film we, of course, never did once see him gamble… with money; instead he, should i say, rather accidentally, puts every thing other than money at stake.
The croupier, played (methodologically) by Clive Owen, is named Jack. At one point he muses, “In life there is a choice: be a gambler or a croupier.” The haunting voice goes on, “…I was hooked on watching punters lose.” Oh Jack, how does it feel when you call “Black Jack,” or a “Zero,” winningly devoid of affection in your voice? But Jack! Whose life? And, which life?
The croupier Jack wrote about in his book, is simply named Jake.
It is not altogether difficult to expect reluctance on the part of Jack’s fiancée, to condone that Jake in the book, she was almost nauseating on the spot, horrified and heatedly she told Jack that she doesn’t like the book. On demand of an explanation, she says, “…there is no hope in it.”
And yes, there should be a young woman like Kate Hardie, who appears as Bela in the film… or a Sonya Marmeladov, or Anna Snitkina; they share that some thing i simply envy, and adore.
–Porcelain. Ed. D Alexandrovna. Exist Random, 1999. p4-6