The Irishman: Movie Review

"Goodfellas" is probably one of our favorite films of all time so it comes as no surprise that "The Irishman" has been one of the films we have been looking forward to this year. It's been a long time since we had an epic gangster film and "The Irishman" on that regard does not disappoint. This is a three and a half hour experience that had us hooked. While there were issues on its pacing, the overall product is timid but powerful, poignant and emotional, a gangster film that had a whole lot of heart.
World War II veteran Frank Sheeran (Robert de Niro) as he fatefully meets Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and becomes a hustler and a hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history - the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). And offers a journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics.
Comparing this to "Goodfellas", "The Irishman" felt like an evolution and a next step for Scorsese. Gone are the bombast and flair and the focus here is more intimate. The craziness and ruthlessness of the inner workings of the mob are still on full display but in a more timid and in our opinion, scarier even. Characters will die left and right, without much bravado or importance. It shows how fragile human life is and how mechanical death has become for these people. But much more importantly, the film's narrative takes an unexpected turn eventually showing that we are all mortals in the end. If its not the bullet that kills you then it would be old age and sickness. In this aspect, the film became much more than your typical gangster film. It showed the good times, the bad times, and mortality in such a way that it really affected us deeply mentally and emotionally. Of course, at the helm of this success were the lead actors specifically Robert de Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci whom provided outstanding and moving performances. Unfortunately, the age of these actors slightly affected the film's feel as there were times that we felt disconnected with their own on-screen age. The film's narrative was great providing a concise but satisfying walk through decades of Frank Sheeran's life but there were times that pacing felt a little bit off. Running at almost three and a half hours, the film may seem daunting but we couldn't really feel the long running time. Overall, "The Irishman" may have had its faults but these are mostly forgivable in the bigger picture. The film is an instant Scorsese classic with a different feel from previous gangster films.
Rating: 4 reels

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