Posted by: Pinar Tarhan | October 8, 2009

Vegas,baby!!! :21

I am not comfortable with the notion of gambling yet I love Vegas. I have never been yet and if I have enjoyed a movie, I really feel th urge to visit the city where it was shot. The bright lights, casinos, hotels, the colors, the excitement. I know I said I am not comfortable because well, I have two good reasons. One, I have an addictive personality – my addictions include rock n’ roll, movies,writing,coffee,cocktails,chocolate,dancing -and I am guessing if I like gambling half as much as I like the stuff I listed above, boy I’m in big trouble. And second, I don’t have much money. So the notion of the possibly of losing what little I have is well, alarming. But I really want to go to Vegas and go crazy for a couple of nights…Oh,yeah: we have 21 to blame.


I don’t want to go all emotional here but some movies hit closer to home. Of course 21 is not exactly a emotional movie. It has some emotional moments about the lead character Ben. But overall, it is based on the real life story of five MIT students who regularly went to Vegas, counted the cards and made some serious cash. I don’t know how much the movie sticks to the real story,but the storyline goes something like this:

Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess)  is an excellent student.He is about to graduate from MIT with honors to continue to Harvard Medical School. Although his qualities are perfect, he has one gigantic problem: he doesn’t have the insane tuition amount. The fees add up to $300,000. His only chance to go to the school he has been accepted to is to get a scholarship.But the scholarship will only be granted to one student and it will all depend on the extraordinary essay he is going to write about his life- except there is nothing even remotely exciting about his life. All his life, he has worked hard and been the amazing student. But he makes one good impression on the one guy that he is going to change his life forever: his Professor Mickey (Kevin Spacey). Mickey is secretly managing a unique group of students from MIT. Together they practice on perfecting a team play. Mickey is reluctant to join them at first but ultimately he doesn’t have much choice. And then the time of his life begins. Luxurious hotel suits, pretending to be someone else every time they play, the thrill, the chemistry growing between him and his team player/his big crush Jill (Kate Bosworth), ludicrous shopping rounds, oh and a danger they are not noticing: the seasoned yet smart head of security Cole (Laurence Fisburne) .

Of course complications occur when he neglects his best friends, and he has a big fall out with his professor. The thing is Mickey doesn’t play nice when he thinks he is crossed…And yet that is exactly when the real adventure begins…

The movie has been directed by Robert Luketic who recently directed The Ugly Truth (2009). Despite having loved it, I have to stay this movie beats any other movie he has done. Rom-com is one of my favorite genres and Robert is good. But if you want to see him direct something more different and definitely more intriguing, watch 21.

We all need money to make our dreams come true. And I need a similar amount of money-at least- to start my own dream school program. The idea to try your hand in Vegas when all else fails makes sense. But then again, I am no math genius, I don’t go to MIT and I can’t count cards. Not to mention, I am not a fan of the Vegas’ casinos’ security systems and the measures taken when you get caught. Of course my knowledge on the subject is based on what Hollywood tells me, yet somehow I am not inspired to challenge that…

Watch 21. It is fun.It is exciting. It makes your fantasies come alive through a character you can easily identify yourself with. I might be neither able nor willing to cheat, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to play.

for the trailer:




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