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A filmmaker's inquiry into transcendence becomes a three-hour trip across countries and cultures, interconnecting people, places and times. From Toronto, the scene of his childhood, Peter Mettler sets out on a journey that includes evangelism at the airport strip, demolition in Las Vegas, tracings in the Nevada desert, chemistry and street life in Switzerland, and the coexistence of technology and divinity in contemporary India. Everywhere along the way, the same themes are to be found: thrill-seeking, luck, destiny, belief, expanding perception, the craving for security in an uncertain world. Fact joins with fantasy; the search for meaning and the search for ecstasy begin to merge. Written by
Interesting journey piece suffering from a lack of direction
Gambling, Gods and LSD is an interesting journey piece which provides some good visuals, thought provoking moments and useful food for thought. At 180 minutes, there is more than enough in this film to satisfy lovers of scenery and imagery.
One of the key flaws of this picture, however, is it's lack of focus and direction. As the film progresses, an absence of momentum becomes clear, as statements are made to the effect that the film makers are just starting to figure the direction they will be taking with this picture. Earlier journey pictures such as Baraka have a clear premise - that is to capture the totality of life in the present, to present a day in life, etc. Gambling Gods and LSD seems to have - at best - an identity crisis in terms of a plot, and this is clear throughout.
Good attempt at a journey film, but not on par with other films of its genre. In an era where we are faced with an excess of information glut, most viewers don't have time to sit through 180 minutes of footage with no definitive direction.
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