August 24, 2020 in Analysis
Gender Representation and Masculinity

The film Casino is Martin Scorsese’s product which sheds lights on Mafia’s relationship in Las Vegas. The movie is based on Nicholas Pileggi’s book, which relied on true events from the life of a man who ran four casinos and who life story becomes the major inspiration for movie. The movie is reminiscent of the Godfather and opens with the car bombing and Sam “Ace” Rothstein floating in the air. The film describes how the accident happened to him and how it came to the protagonist becoming a well-known casino owner. Rothstein, played by marvelous actor Robert De Niro, is the center of the narration, which explains how the mob controlled millions coming out of the casinos. The main hero is in love with one woman and has to confront difficult choice in life. However, the movie is also the salient representation of gender confrontation and masculinity representation. What is more important is that the film Casino allows developing the connection between urban life and masculinity. Hence, the movie is the symbolic representation of gender relationship, particularly masculinity which is revealed through power, violence, and outlaw actions.

Scorsese’s movie is represented and inspired by the traditional and popular music; the director is always committed to auteurism and personalized approach to cinema. The film, therefore, reviews the gangster style to put the heightened variants of the immigrants’ experiences. With the use of the music, the movie narrates the experience of male characters who have been captured between modernity and tradition, the old and the new, mainstreams and tribal commitments. There are numerous scenes of fighting and murders which underscore the character’s brutality and cruelness and represent masculinity as power, freedom, and independence, in which violence was among the priorities to rule to society. Mafia bosses are demonstrated as the big bosses who contemplate and control their followers in the back room. The narration is presented by the voice of the protagonist, Sam Rothstein and Nicky Santoro. Sam strives to control of his own share in the business empire. However, the mafia bosses are not open-minded and are reluctant to trust because of Sam’s Jewish heritage. In such a way, Scorsese demonstrates the pursuit of income by the bosses in the Vegas dream. The majority of character resemble other movie of the typ. Pesci’s hero is also the exaggeration type of Tommy De Vito from Goodfellas, whereas Sam is similar to Jimmy Conway. Hence, Casino represents the feature, being another dimension of bosses’ control over the inferior ranks. The bosses are also represented as racists and snobs who are not directly involved in the business world, but take advantage of such people as Sam who is committed to the process of gaining money and taking control of the casino’s client. The representation of masculinity is also presented through the depiction of the so-called millennium gangsters who could take the role of law-makers and criminals in one face.

Type of service
Type of your assignment
Academic level

With reliance on the male and female characters in the movie, it could be admitted that the images of women and men are too exaggerated and are typical of those time. A man is the one who is rich, successful, and who has power over others. Sam Rothstein was cruel, omnipotent, and racist. There was no place for equality, but for the stratification in the casino hierarchy. However, a woman was objectified; it was a sort of a complement for a man. All other female characters were represented as wives of influential men who should be supported and paid by their husbands. The bright example of the role distributions could be presented through the relationships between Sam and Ginger. Sam makes everything possible to make Ginger stay by his man; he also made rich presents, and protected from other. As a former prostitute, money was on the first place. Ginger becomes more dependent on Sam and Nicky who help her to survive in the cruel world of mafia bosses. All the events in the film represent her as the fallen lady because she had to lead a criminal lifestyle and be outside of law.

Although Ginger depended much on the male-dominating world, she has a talent of controlling their desires. She was capable of reaching consensus to anyone and, therefore, which conquered their disposition and loyalty. Therefore, it could be stated that Ginger is a wile heroine who follows a risky life. Although the movie is also about male dominance, the role of women should not be underscored. The depiction of masculinity is represented through brutal attitude and the fight for power and money, but the main protagonist is still committed to certain moral codes, such as family and children. He is affected for his wife and daughter and strives to do everything possible to defend his own world from the world of money, corruption, and violence.

It should be admitted that masculinity is a matter of publicity and demonstration of power. Each male character in the movie thinks that he posses power which is superior on others. Both Nicky and Sam are a sort of rivals who strive to show their leadership skills and ability to control the situation. Nicky is concerned with the way Sam behaves and because his actions become out of control. The degree of represented masculinity is amplified and is associated with the desire of men to surpass the law and become an important personality. In general, the director of the movie represents masculinity in symbolic way to provide a full picture of gangsters and godfathers. Masculinity here is defined through violence, crime, and romance related to knives and guns. The violence, in this case, is legitimized with regard to the character’s masculinity, where death is a sort of narratives. The films also depict brutal acts of cruelty and violence could be presented with the Nicky, being the antagonist who first supervised Sam and, then, he became his rival and enemy, who betrayed him. Nicky is also a sort of gangster who is racist and who cannot stand equality. By means of Sam, Nicky strives to prove his importance and superiority. He starts an affair with Sam’s wife Ginger to take away everything which was achieved by Sam.

In fact, the audience has always been fascinated by the crime and gangster genres. The major heroes are represented as pleasant outfits which can ignore the law and become out of control. They wear the best suits, hats, and shoes, attending the best restaurants, and conquering the best women, gangster were associated with prestige and glamour, narcissism and power. They are egoistic and selfish and they want to self-realize by means of other people. However, Sam differs significantly from those characters because of certain interests and moral codes. Specifically, the protagonist is keen on controlling Casino; he is extremely interested in ruling the business. He loves one woman and has a family which he want to protect from the criminal world and mafia. However, the moral codes are not approved by the society in the movie. As a result, the fatal flaw occurs since the hero could not stand the cornerstone and the envy of others. Everything from the gang group is striving to destroy Sam because he becomes more successful than them and he could create problems for mafia and Nicky.

The racial and social discrimination is also among the major features of the male-dominating world. Specifically, the America is dreaming of becoming the part of the world, but the representation of masculinity is also the ability to become racially pure. Nick is also against Jewish people in the mafia family and he takes measures for destroying the image of Sam Rothstein. They underestimate women in the world of men, in which women are just the tools for control and entertainment. Ginger is still taking the role of manipulating men because of the prioritizing money and beauty.

Therefore, fatal flow technique is also represented in the movie where all the heroes are falling down morally. Nicky betrayed Sam, Ginger is involved into affair with others, and Sam becomes more frustrated with people who surround them. Everything is worsen, but the mafia bosses who are left uninvolved and just contemplate all the intrigues and relationships. Ginger is also concerned with sponsors and men who can provide her with money. Sam was still trying to recreate the family and sustain traditional values and protect her daughter from the world of violence and crime.

The director of the movie Martin Scorsese is the master of reproducing the gangster life and criminal rates. Sam, the major protagonist of the movie strive to become successful and live according to the moral and ethical principles in the world where violence and cruelty, where males strive to take over the control by means of money and power. The movie therefore represents masculinity in the classical, gangster-style way. However, Sam is still helpless because of the other people who could accept the Jewish people take control of the casino. Women are also represented as the tool of power and control. Ginger is interested in money only; she could not take the role of mother and wife, as Sam wants. All these events create the illusion of the world in which moral principles could not exist.


Related essays