When the film starts, you get the sense that the director is a man fanatical tickled by romance movies; in the film Color of Money, Martin Scorsese ventures into a new era in the movie business. The film conveys pleasure and stupefaction in a very complex fashion.
Color of Money strongly connects to The Hustler (1961), directed by Robert Rossen, starring Paul Newman. Scorsese’s The Color of Money has a powerful plot because of the pioneering and unique vocabulary that is strongly suited for the story he is presenting. We see the camera shift in specific lines projecting the emotions of the various scenes. You can see the world as envisioned by Scorsese. As the viewer, you can enter a character’s mind because the director invades them, almost mercilessly, exposing what they are going through. On the other hand, Scorsese presents gentleness and compassion.
The emotion comes out in the way the film depicts the ephemeral incidence of women. Men are described as being lonely, but that’s about it. There’s not more than that about them because the director wasn’t interested in their story. It’s simply a pool table and two guys. The director gets you to the game in a way you don’t find in typical sports films. The film is explosive in terms of its sound quality and image to the extent you experience its jolt.
Two decades and a half later, Eddie Felson plays his previous role in The Hustler. In this film, he is a salesman at a liquor store who also goes to great lengths to keep his interest in hustling and pool burning by wagering in players with great talent. Then, Vince (played by Cruise), whose skills Eddie harnesses in preparation for a nine-ball game in Atlantic City. Vince is likable yet naïve in the company of a young lady whose job is split between massaging Vince’s cues and her interest in Eddie.
If you are hoping for a replay of The Hustler, it’s not in this film. There’s a mix of mutual dependence and mistrust between Eddie and Vince, and this is one of the many things that are fueling the story in this film. Who would have thought that balls, cues, and tables would like this strange and rich in equal measure? Let’s not get started on the film’s soundtrack, especially in the scene where Eddie lets out the banter about pool excellence not being about excellent Pools.
Towards the middle third of the film, Eddie is struggling with the thought that he is Frankenstein. He does not like what he has become and tries to figure out what he wants to be in the end. This shifts the film’s focus onto Eddie, and in place of what’s lost in terms of the energy that the two had created to this point, the film gains a simple yet in-depth story. If the last bit of the movies seems unsatisfying, that because it is, and we can’t wait to find out what happens next – you want more of the story now, this instance!