Poker on Screen: Smile (2021)

The example that is latest of poker on screen isn’t a glitzy Hollywood movie or a stylish cameo to bulk out a gangster film. It’s not a cash or tournament game shows reveal, either.

Smile, created by Norwegian filmmakers Kari Wåle and Linn Amundsen, is a documentary that follows the final actions of Thor Hansen’s journey in poker as well as in life it self. Clinically determined to have incurable cancer tumors, Hansen’s prolonged battle up against the illness took within the making associated with the movie plus it one of many solitary many films that are fascinating ever watch.

It goes without saying that Thor Hansen is a poker legend, but the two-time WSOP bracelet winner is also a hero to Norwegians who play the game and it’s not hard to see why in a documentary where Hansen, despite the battle that is impossible faces, is consistently smiling.

Even though the jovial Norwegian hasn’t yet made their means in to the Poker Hall of Fame, it really is an induction that undoubtedly will be time. He’s impossible not to ever like, not merely due to their lust that is infectious for poker (“I’ll be playing on my deathbed, you guys can bring cards!”) but his humility and acceptance of his fate.

Lasting 75 minutes, this poker film is a dive that is deep Hansen’s life and motivations, plus it’s a study that will be usually upsetting, solely because their character is indeed vital and their humour therefore touchingly infectious that through the film one is struck by sadness that their is not around any longer. He could be missed within the scene that is current though what he would have made of poker behind Perspex screens and face masks is anyone’s guess.

Hansen deals with his terminal cancer diagnosis that he may lose the hand but determined to go down cracking jokes like he might have dealt with bad cards he’s miscalled the flop with; accepting. It really is a testament to their psychological power and that he endured 300 chemo treatments and six years of such battles to continue living as long as he could.

Part of the film touches on his love of the game in its purest form and it seems to a large extent to have consumed him while it’s not a theme of the movie, we couldn’t help wondering if his love of poker helped to prolong his life, given. The question isn’t posed directly, but lingers like sepia on old film anyway; is a life that is whole to poker a thing that is a great thing or bad for a human being?

There’s no correct response, needless to say, solely because most people are various, but even though many of poker’s modern success tales have actually an ‘escape route’ prepared, pivoting to Bitcoin or investment possibilities or a totally various video gaming control, Thor Hansen comes from a period where poker ingested its players, and dominated their everyday lives.

Passing Away aged just 71, Hansen was by no means the oldest of men by the time he died and that is the big takeaway, how full of life he could seem to be while simultaneously rowing in tandem with those on the journey that is longest of all, life itself going into whatever lies beyond. His viewpoint on life and poker mix and meld beautifully and it’s clear that his love of the game runs like a skin that is second their own.A gregarious character of vast charm that is personal it’s impossible not to love Thor Hansen. The filmmakers spoke to PokerNews

about the project, telling the poker reporting site that, “We thought Thor deserved this film, and we also got the impression that we were making a film about his life.”It’s that he was a bit proud impractical to argue with such a sentiment that is wonderful the film, while capturing Hansen at his physical nadir in terms of his life, captures the essence of what makes him – and his wife Marcella – so special too.You can watch the trailer for

Smile

right hereyou can do so on Vimeo via this link.(*:(*)If you want to buy the film,)

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