Holy shit. This film is a masterpiece, one of the greatest movies of the past decade, certainly (along with Arrival, Mad Max Fury Road, Last Night in Soho, Dune, Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk). I just kept getting lost in Pesci, DeNiro, and Pacino’s characters. They keep making you forget who they actually are, while the story progresses through some real history.
By “real history,” that is meant to be literal. This is the history of the hoi polloi. There’s more relevant history in this film than in most high school history textbooks. That’s just the background. But, that’s just straight-up factual. Crime, organized crime, is relevant yet ignored in academia.
Granted, I’m taking a lot on faith from the narrative, but not a single sour note. Scorsese’s rapid-fire montage style has matured and become fashionable and almost seamless. This was life, and more relevantly to me: this was my father’s world. Yes. Robert DeNiro, whom my father did play poker with during the production of Raging Bull, was very much like my actual father. Only, in this film, DeNiro’s character would be who my father turned into had he been in one of America’s many insane foreign wars, which he was not.
There were extra psychological levels in my case, to be sure. But, Scorsese scored magnificently. Even at 3 hours 29 minutes, the film stands strong. It could have easily been converted into a Netflix mini-series, and then collapsed with trivial filler. As-is, it’s art, it’s huge, and it’s worth it.
If you care about the study of power, corruption, crime and punishment, then this cannot be missed.
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