Starring: Tyler Mills, Michaela Lichvanova, Tremont Turner
Directed by: Alex Srednoselac
Running Time: 1 hr 58 mins
Alex Srednoselac is the man behind the newest movie about gambling. The director hopes to move away from all the tired casino clichés and show the world of gambling in a more raw or realistic way. Sresnoselac, who had worked at the Portage 16 movie theatres for almost a decade, shares a deep love for films and cinematography. Over the years, his desire to direct or shoot his own films has only got stronger. Having lived around films, and interacted with viewers on a daily basis, Sresnoselac managed to learn a fair bit… Despite never attending a film school or receiving any formal training.
Cashing Out follows the main character, Allen. Allen wants to play casino games with high stakes and work on his skills as a professional gambler. He pursues his love for gambling, but he finds himself tangled up in organized crime. During one of his high stake games, a group of robbers disrupts the game, stealing everyone’s cash. Later, the protagonist reveals that he was also involved in the robbery and actively helped to make it happen. The plot thickens. We follow Allen as he tries to disassociate himself from the messy crime scene, manage his love life and family affairs, all while keeping his “special relationship” with poker. The movie is relatable, exciting and feels fresh. It is rare to surprise or impress anyone with a gambling move… It has been a while since we saw anything this original, offering an interesting take or angle on gambling and casino-style games.
Besides the intriguing plotline, the main appeal of the story is that it takes gambling in a completely different direction. We are used to bland portrayals of casino games as tropes and set-ups for other more important storylines. Unfortunately, movies tend to show a completely one-sided view of what it is like to be a professional gambler. What sets this movie apart is the director himself, Alex Srednoselac. Srednoselac has been an avid poker player for as long as he can remember. The Portage 16 movie manager has a first-hand experience of what it is like to enjoy professional gambling. While the director is definitely the main hero of the story, the movie was only made possible thanks to the active involvement of the local community in Chicago, where he is based.
As we mentioned before, the director has been working in the theatre since 2007. All of his co-workers, as well as the local residents, were more than excited to help him out! The whole movie crew was made up of “just” 60 people. The budget was minimal. The Portage 16 also offered to screen Srednoselac’s movie in the theatre. This already is a “tradition” that the cinema follows every year, in order to help those young creators gain more exposure or wider recognition for their work. The years spent serving movie-goers have not gone to waste. In fact, they helped Srednoselac achieve his dream. The film is already in line for multiple awards and has attracted all-positive reviews on the leading movie ranking sites.