Card Counter is an upcoming American Revenge drama directed by Paul Schrader and executive produced by Martin Scorsese. The movie has been selected for Venice Film Festival where it will compete for top honours as the Golden Lion. It is at the Venice Film Festival that the movie will be released for the first time.
Schroeder is known for movies like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Dog Eat Dog,The Last Temptation of Christ & Bringing out the dead, to name a few.
His films are offbeat and rather non- traditional. Sometimes they are said to be meant for a particular set of audiences with an appreciation of art house cinema.That is to say, his movies are more based on psychological action rather than the direct, physical one. Schrader’s thrillers take you on a journey of the unknown.
After his last movie First Reformed, expectations are all-time high regarding Card Counter.
Here we have put together a piece on Paul Schrader’s latest venture Card Counter.
Plot of Card Counter
Very little has been yet revealed about the plot. But perhaps Peter Kujowski has put it best regarding the theme of Schrader’s latest venture. As Kujowski tries to find answers : is it always the circumstances that corrupt the souls? Or, (We suspect Schrader likes this one better), Is the soul always looking to get a taste of forbiddenness and using circumstances as excuses to tread on the path of immorality?
The movie revolves around the idea of revenge. It is a long and exhausting process that slowly poisons the human
heart. The protagonist, interestingly named William Tell, is a former serviceman turned gambler who seeks a young man called Kirk. Kirk has thrown himself into the path of destructive vengeance and seeks William’s help to destroy a colonel, their mutual enemy.
This allows William to redeem himself by convincing the young man that revenge is not the way to go. But this journey is easier said than done which the movie attempts to explore.
Scorsese comes to the rescue
When the movie was almost done, there were four scenes left to be shot. At this point, Schrader kind of felt a crisis of faith. He realized that he was for some reason not satisfied. At that moment he wrote to Martin Scorsese, who he has always seen as his mentor.
He wrote to Scorsese that there were four scenes still left and he wanted to rewrite them. He mentioned to Scorsese that he felt like he was missing something.
Afterwards, Scorsese went through things and gave him feedback which helped Schrader. He rewrote the scenes with a more certain hand in the interpersonal relationships of his characters.
First Reform: looking back at Schrader’s protagonist
First Reforms tells the story of a priest who goes through an immense psychological and spiritual struggle. Everything he ever believed in seems to stand in the ruins, much like the dilapidated building of his church. With a cracking foundation, yet the church stands much like the man.
In this mentally challenging phase, he meets Michael. Michael is a person of an extreme nature and an anti-natalist. In this conversation with Michael, instead of finding his way, Ernst, the priest, seems to be even more lost.
West, mental pain is almost reflected physically. His mental crisis makes him clench his teeth in pain and finally, he finds solace in an act of forbidden transgression.
Back to the present
In the upcoming crime revenge drama, we expected a similar kind of portrayal of a hero who is very haunted by the ghost of his past. There is brooding darkness that eats up William from within. His heavy way of speaking, the underhanded sadness evokes a sense of cynicism gained through bitter experiences of life. By rectifying Tye’s present approach he plans to redeem himself for his past actions.
If only the road to reception were that easy.
The Trailer of Card Counter
The official trailer of the movie has been released by Focus Features. The trailer lets you see a glimpse of a dark and gritty world of William Tell. The chemistry between Haddish and Isaac looks super charged. Scrader’s own cinematic intensity is felt tangibly through the trailer.
Tell’s to and fro movements between his present and past. His interactions with Cirk and Linda both spike up our curiosity as we wonder how this will play out.
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Oscar Isaac as Wiiliam Tell
Oscar Isaac is one of the busiest actors right now. Apart from Card Counter, he is set to star in Dune and Marvel’s Moon Knight. He is going to be Paul Schrader’s Card Counter as well.
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Tiffany Hadish stars in the movie as La Linda who plays the mysterious gambler financier to Isaac’s Tell.
Tye Sheridan as Cirk
Cirk, played by Sheridan who is an angry young man cherishing the vengeance inside his soul. He will not rest until he gets his revenge.
He seeks out Tell for help. He thought since they were both ruined by the same man, Tell would help out immediately. But Tell takes this chance to prove revenge is like a forest and it is easy to get lost.
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The cast of Card Counter
Apart from Oscar Isaac Tiffany Haddish and Tye Sheridan,Card Counter also stars Willem Dafoe and Ekaterina Baker and is produced by Braxton Pope, Lauren Mann, and David Wulf, with executive producers Martin Scorcese, William Olsson, Lee Broda, Ruben Islas, and Stanley Preschutti.
Release date of Card Counter
This film is set to release on 10 September 2021, at the Venice Film Festivals.
Card Counter is a crime thriller and at the same time, it will provide a deeply philosophical experience. It is a typical Paul Schrader world where two most unlikely things come together and something entirely novel springs out of them. Here too a revenge seeker, an ex-serviceman and the world of poker are brought together. We have no idea as to what’s going to happen.
The project also reunites Schrader with cinematographer Alexander Dynan and editor Benjamin Rodriguez Jr. who all worked together on First Reformed. so that is the kind of strange brilliance we expect from the movie.