21Genre: Thriller| Year: 2008 | Duration: 123 mins | Director: Robert Luketic | Medium: VCD (BIG Home Video) | Trailer: HERE | My rating: 4*/5*

Fav Dialogue: Ben: “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!”

21 is inspired by the true story of MIT Blackjack Team. The story is of Ben (Jim Sturgess) who’s a senior math major at MIT and is accepted at Harvard Med School and trying to ‘dazzle’ the director in order to win the coveted Robinson scholarship. After dazzling MIT prof Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey) with his out of the box solution of Monty Hall problem and non-linear math paper, Ben is invited by Rosa to join the balckjack team consisting four other students, where he learns card counting and start making it big at the las vegas casino circuit. He and his team is monitored by security chief Cole Williams (Lawrence Fishburne) for malpractice, and eventually get apprehended and turn in Rosa in lieu of his freedom. The movie ends with Ben recounting the entire tale to a “dazzled” Harvard director.

I liked Ben’s birthday cake in the movie, which read: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13,… These are the first terms in fibonacci series. This is obtained by first writing the numbers ’0,1′, then defining each subsequent number as the sum of the previous two numbers in the series. Thus, the third number in the series is 1 = 1 + 0, the fifth number is 3 = 2 + 1, etc. The next number on the cake would be 21 = 13 + 8, for Ben’s 21st birthday, which goes cleverly with the name of the film or Blackjack!

This mathy gambling  thriller is my ‘Movie of the day’.

About Manu Mayank
I work as an International development professional. My interests include reading, writing, traveling, movies, music, cosmology, collecting stamps, matchboxes, and rocks, mentoring, coffee, and computer games, among many more.

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