The Irishman - Review

December 02, 2019



  


      
        Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is not just a movie, it’s also a testament to his unparalleled originality even in a genre so well explored within his filmography. The three and a half hour epic jumps through time telling the story of a real-life hitman Frank Sheeran played by ‘Robert De Niro’ who was accused of killing Jimmy Hoffa ‘Al Pacino’. The genre certainly isn’t new to Scorsese, De Niro, and Al Pacino, but the vulnerability of this film feels like a jarring goodbye to it. The Irishman portrays the real life of the mob that was absent in Goodfellas, it shows the remorse and brutality behind the glamour. The almost four-hour build up lives up to the main event but it neglects other aspects of the film that could easily be expanded upon like Frank’s relationship with his daughter Peggy ‘Anna Paquin’. ‘De Nero’ delivered one of, if not the best performance of his career, the phone call scene is simply a masterclass in acting. ‘Al Pacino’ who played Hoffa, whom I admit that I know very little about, gave his character the dramatic antics it required even if his accent was a bit shaky and inconsistent. The best performance, however, goes to ‘Joe Pesci’ who played Russell Bufalino in an intimidating but still soft-spoken way which is a stark contrast to his character in Goodfellas. I understand how the use of the DE-aging technology is meant to increase the emotional impact and make the time transitions of the film more fluid but it didn’t translate well. I found the CGI to be jarring and almost distracting in times especially when the characters moved around. The characters obliviously looked like young faces on old bodies. ‘Thelma Schoonmaker's’ out of this world editing made ignoring the CGI distractions more bearable. Overall I would have loved to watch The Irishman on the big screen, but the film’s locations, duration, and ‘Rodrigo Prieto’s’ impressive cinematography felt more suited for streaming. I feel lucky to exist in a time where masters of their crafts like Scorsese continue to impress and add their originality to the creatively dull industry controlled by monopolies today. The Irishman is an intimidating yet melancholic wild ride that begins with a bang and ends with a parting shot that would haunt your mind for a while. 

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