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2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 06:26
According to critic Alexei Khromov, the new work of the famous director is definitely worth seeing, although it will take a lot of time.
A new movie from the creator of Goodfellas and The Departed has been released on streaming service Netflix. Martin Scorsese returns to his favorite theme and again recounts the life of the Italian-American mafia.
This time, he decided to figure out the true story of Frank Sheeran, nicknamed the Irishman, who killed many criminals from rival clans. But most importantly, before his death, the killer himself admitted that it was he who was behind the disappearance of the famous trade union leader Jimmy Hoffa.
Scorsese's new work will surely fall in love with fans of his work and will be on a par with the already mentioned "Nice Guys" and "Casino". But still, there are some points that make the picture difficult to understand.
Large and slow saga
The plot covers literally the entire career of Sheeran (Robert De Niro), from the moment when he was a young truck driver accidentally met the boss of the mafia Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and started doing business with him. Quite quickly, the hero became an assistant to the criminal and gradually moved from collecting debts to contract killings.
And then life pitted them against Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) - the leader of the truckers' union, who, using his influence, often helped businessmen with both money and various services. But gradually the paths of Bufalino and Hoffa parted, and the Irishman had to choose which side he was on.
The long history is presented in a non-linear way, which makes the picture more exciting. It all starts with the story of a very elderly Sheeran. Then the action jumps back years to his joint trip with Bufalino, which, in turn, launches a series of flashbacks introducing the viewer to the beginning of their collaboration.
Thus, the action looks multi-layered: the viewer is gradually exposed to all the important points and put them into a general picture. And Scorsese in this case, almost in the spirit of David Fincher, tries to give the maximum amount of information.
For example, when a new minor participant in the events is shown, the credits immediately explain how and when he died. And here you can see how few of them died a natural death and in freedom.
They also consider the weapons that were used in crimes, the organization of murders and many other interesting details. Well, when the plot shifts from crime to court cases and political intrigues, historical chronicles and detailed analyzes of the processes are used.
This approach, coupled with the perfectly rendered fashion and retro soundtrack, turns "The Irishman" into an encyclopedia of the life of the mafia, and indeed of America in the 50s and 70s. Yet it is the globality that makes the picture too heavy.
"Irishman" lasts almost three and a half hours - it is much longer than even the epic "Casino" of the same Scorsese. And in this regard, we can only rejoice that the film was released on Netflix, in cinemas such a duration would probably scare away many. Here, some of the viewers will prefer to divide the viewing into two or three approaches, turning the picture into a kind of mini-series.
Moreover, Scorsese does not save time on dialogues. He generally shoots in his classic style, as if the 90s did not end. The director shows long-term plans, neat editing without excessive flickering and unhurried conversations, revealing not only the main characters, but also their surroundings. This creates the most realistic sensations and turns the on-screen world into a real one, where people are not divided into heroes and villains, and everyone simply pursues their own goals.
But if it seems to someone that the author is again romanticizing the life of criminals, it is enough to wait for the last 30 minutes. And there it will already become clear that even those who did not die during the showdown of the mafia ended their lives very sadly.
Actors from the past to the present
Of course, many were attracted by the fact that for the first time in many years the classic "old guard" of crime films gathered in the film. Robert De Niro has already played with Joe Pesci at Scorsese several times and has repeatedly shared the set with Al Pacino in the works of other directors.
Now they are together again, and this provides an amazing acting performance. Although Scorsese acted somewhat ambiguously, showing heroes at different ages performed by the same artists.
On the one hand, it is simply impossible to replace any of them. In addition, computer technologies show more and more natural "smoothing" of faces every year. And at first glance, young De Niro and Pesci look quite natural. But if you look more closely, especially on a good screen, you will notice that after all, their facial expressions and acting suffer from the effects.
And most of all the heroes give out the movements. All the central actors are already over 70, and even with diligent rejuvenation of their faces, their gestures and behavior look too slow and smooth.
That is why the second half of the film, where the artists are increasingly appearing in their usual form, looks more lively: they play more freely and emotions are already twisted to the fullest. Well, the final scenes with Bufalino and especially with Frank Sheeran will definitely move anyone.
Scorsese has dreamed of filming The Irishman for many years. And as a result, the picture came out monumental, heavy and complex. Apparently, such an author wanted to see her. Someone such globality will scare away. Still, the skill of the director and the talent of the actors make this film almost a must-see, if not in one evening, then at least for several days.