gangster gentleman

@instishoot I personally think Benny is kind of underwritten and… confused character, but it kind of might be the point about the kind of state Mr. House is running? He preserved New Vegas in a stasis, under the glass globe that he loves so much, but only the buildings could be left unchanged. People are different now and Mr. House is the only one who remembers the real city of Vegas. Everyone else has just a concept of it, from stories and old photographs, a dream of the city of game and vice. So New Vegas attracts people who want to play make-believe, to be someone from these glorious pre-war days, but without truly understanding the original that they try to imitate. Like the Kings who don’t know who Elvis really was, but live impersonating his style. And Benny, who was a savage tribal nomad his whole life, tries to be this classy, suave gentleman-gangster, without having a real reference. So many things about him are performative - his speech pattern, when literally no one else talks like this, his goddamn suit, even his “code of honor” - he tells the Khans that he won’t kill someone without looking them in the eyes first, and he even digs a grave for the courier. We know that Benny doesn’t really care about killing the courier, but it’s a matter of style - he gives the famous “the game was rigged from the start” speech, because he wants so damn hard to be this classy mafia mastermind instead of a brutal tribal.

EDIT: my shitty wording here implied that tribals are actually savage and brutal, which is of course bullshit, sorry for that. The point that I was trying to make was about Benny’s own perception, how he tries to move away from one stereotype by pretending to be a kind of diametrically opposite stereotype. He specifically distances himself from the Khans on the matter of how to implement violence - “Maybe Khans kill people without looking them in the face, but I aint a fink, dig?”

For us, the players, his speech pattern and suit are so jarring and ridiculous because we know the original he’s aiming for, we know that he misses the mark by a mile, but he himself doesn’t. And this is all very tangible things - people trying to live up to their ideals without realizing what these ideals were really made of, and in the process becoming something new and different, that might look silly, but deep down it’s bittersweetly human, and for details like this I love FNV.

And this is how entire New Vegas under House’s rule works - things only look like the past on the surface, but if you really look at them, you can see that everything is a clumsy imitation, even if played on a real location. Mr. House thinks he preserved his Vegas, but his tragedy is that he he turned his beloved city into a caricature of itself.

‘Oh Sinnerman Where You Gonna Run To?’ - Model: Baptiste Giabiconi | Photographer: Jack Waterlot | Styling: Andrew Holden | Grooming: Ingeborg *Billy Reid,Emporio Armani,Dior Homme, John Varvatos, Lock&Co. London

‘Oh Sinnerman Where You Gonna Run To?’ - Model: Baptiste Giabiconi | Photographer: Jack Waterlot | Styling: Andrew Holden | Grooming: Ingeborg

*Dior Homme, Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, Lock & Co. London, Tom Ford

soundtrack

5

- ماذا علّمك؟

= علّمني انه إذا كنت سأفعل شيئا.. فأفعله بعنايه و حب, علّمني ان اكون رجل مهذب

- و هل هذا ما انت عليه؟

= هذا ما أحاول أن أكُنه

American Gangster (2007) - Dir: Ridley Scott