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The Irishman review: An american tragedy

The Irishman review – All the mafia stories, real or fictional, always go to the same place: it is all about power drunkenness and greed … Tragedy is the inevitable end of most mafia movies … After all, what else to expect? Netflix production of three and a half hours “The Irishman” is also coming to the same places … So, “What does he say as new?” If you say, I would say “a little more reality” first … But if you ask the most authentic side, I would like to talk about the feeling that “in the end nobody wins in any way”. In a very powerful way … Moreover, it is a feeling that touches not only gangsters but all of us … I’m in favor of reading “The Irishman” especially over the last 40 minutes … I mean, on old age … I mean old age, not just being cut off by hand. Old age is essentially a period in which love, affection and friendship are needed … The last straight of life …

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The Irishman review – For example, I can start from that scene where Russell Buffalino (Joe Pesci) and Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) “no longer enjoy dipping their bread in wine” in prison … It is possible to read the whole movie through that scene. It is no coincidence that Russ, who had no teeth to chew bread, expressed his remorse there for the first time. What is the real meaning of all those power struggles in the past when man loses even the simplest palate? We should also remember the legend mafia members of the past in wheelchairs in the prison courtyard … After all, most of us spend our lives fighting for things that we cannot take with us to the afterlife. Right here, undoubtedly, children come to mind … Because they are not only the carriers of our material but also our spiritual heritage. That’s why the effort Sheeran with the crutches made to see the tiny intimacy with her daughter Peggy (Anna Paquin) is so meaningful. The fact that her daughter, who prefers to work as an ordinary blockbuster in a casual job, refuses to meet Sheeran, will never forgive her, perhaps the most tragic scene of the movie.

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The Irishman review – Let’s not skip the scene where Sheeran talks to her daughter Dolores (Marin Ireland), whom we always see as a quiet person throughout the film. Perhaps for the first time what it means to be a member of Sheeran’s family comes to mind there.
Director Martin Scorsese kept the last part of the movie really long. At the expense of the audience, he wanted us to look at everything that happened in the past from the “last scene of Sheeran’s life” …
When analyzed structurally, it can be said that especially the central part of the film focuses entirely on storytelling. So much so that the majority of the film is actually spent with the image of “talking heads” … But the film runs like clockwork, accompanied by the fiction of Thelma Schoonmaker, the performance of the actors and the passing scenes of the screenwriter Steven Zaillian.
Actually, Scorsese does not “show his hand” until the finals … More precisely, it does not explain exactly where and how to approach the issue, where the “heart of the movie” is. It almost tells stories without comment … It leaves us what and why we need to pay attention to … But with the Detroit operation, the sub-texts begin to gain clarity and depth.
Scorsese has been slowing down his film tempo in the last 40 minutes, emphasizing the pictorial meaning of the shots more and increasing the number of general plans. Its purpose is to make us think more rather than being a passive follower … Along with the thought comes emotion to the film. In particular, Sheeran’s relationship with her daughter, Peggy, suddenly becomes the “heart of the movie” … Moreover, as we see Peggy’s distant demeanor, the disproportionate violence that Sheeran demonstrated to the grocery store seeking mercy many years ago is revived in our memory. That scene is actually the place where we and Peggy are emotionally detached from Sheeran … Scorsese makes us look at Sheeran from the outside by showing little Peggy (Lucy Gallina) and other people on the street in the audience position in that scene. Because that’s the moment when we realize Sheeran was a ruthless antihero …
The scene where Sheeran shows the nurse in black and white photos years later in the nursing home is also catchy. This is a time when younger generations did not recognize the legendary union leader Jimmy Hoffa of the 1960s and 1970s … Sheeran is living one of those moments where all the violence and power games he devoted most of his life to have no meaning. The photo of Hoffa and her daughter shows her once again what she missed in life and what she could never catch again.
Years ago, Sergio Leone also viewed the betrayal within the mafia through old age in Once Upon a Time in America (1984). But that movie had good and bad gangsters and a romantic point of view. There are no good or bad gangsters in “The Irishman” … Almost all the characters are defective except Sheeran’s family … The dominant feeling is realism …
The Irishman review – Sheeran’s tragedy is not just the remorse of the past. To be condemned to an unhappy and lonely old age … Right here, it’s impossible not to remember the first scene of the movie. As the camera moves through the corridors of the nursing home, we see people talking everywhere. Although it is not very active, there is a warm, lively environment where people communicate. Sheeran, whom we approached from her back, sits alone in her wheelchair. Obviously he was waiting for the camera. He immediately starts talking. Obviously it’s time to confess… He wants to relieve his conscience a little… Doesn’t Charles Brandt‘s book “I Heard You Paint Houses”, published in 2004 and which is the basis of the film, consists of Sheeran’s confessions anyway? So it makes sense for Sheeran to be the narrator of the film and tell us everything in a self-defensive way… Except for the scene where the grocer crushes his hand, we don’t see him as a villain… Sheeran rationalizes everything he does as “work”. But Scorsese doesn’t turn him into a hero at any point in the movie. It does not even introduce the “good-hearted man” stereotype … On the contrary, it becomes clearer that he is one of those “puppets at the end of the rope” mentioned in the movie “The Godfather” (1972). Scorsese pulls him through the door in a scene where Sheeran is preparing at home, referring to Coppola’s “Father” … In the finale Sheeran’s “Leave the door open on your exit!” again brings to mind the finale of “The Godfather” … Scorsese views him in the doorway. In the finale of “The GodFather,” the door closes completely and separates Michael Corleone from his wife Kay. Husband and wife are now in different worlds … Here, on the contrary, Sheeran wants to keep his door open to the outside world; because the mafia is no longer a living space for him … “The Irishman” is a remarkable movie as it depicts the historical process from the 1960s to the early 1980s through the eyes of a shooter … Sheeran is soon becoming a hit man working under the chain of command. The real power wars take place between Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), the Bufalino Family and the US government …

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The Irishman review – Speaking of the historical flow, it is necessary to open a special bracket to the scene where Sheeran watches the news about the civil war in the Balkans in the 1990s on the television of the nursing home … We see that international power wars such as the “Cuban missile crisis” in which Sheeran once got involved through the mafia are still going on here. … By the way, let’s point out that the movie positions the mafia and the state as two different power areas … Sometimes they cooperate in covert and sometimes they come face to face. That is why it can be said that “The Irishman” indirectly took a political point of view, bringing up the past state-mafia relations once again. “The Irishman” has a claim to tell behind the scenes of events over a 20-year period, especially Hoffa’s mysterious death. Of course, not everything we watch in the movie is true to itself, but it is possible to think that the general course of the relations between Hoffa and the Bufalino family is depicted in a realistic way. There is no clear clue whether Hoffa was directly involved in the Kennedy assassination … But it is so clear that Hoffa, who supported Nixon, wanted Kennedy’s death … value… The Irishman stretches from the Bufalino Family’s front to the Nixon and Watergate scandal, and all this allows us to look at an era with different eyes.

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By the way, Scorsese does not forget not only old age, but also death throughout the movie … In the course of the film, when new characters appear in many scenes, the frame freezes and writings that give information about the date on which that person died or were killed appear. As of the dates of death, it is possible to see that all the important actors of the Bufalino Family were eliminated between 1979-1981.
“The Irishman” is not the kind of mafia movie we are used to. What is happening between Sheeran, Hoffa and Russ opens the door to a new story we do not know.
Hoffa is a union leader who lends millions of dollars of retirement funds to the mafia … Like the general manager of a bank where the mafia is constantly working … Russ is a modest man in the family. His position is not at the top, but he is one of the most spoken and dignified brothers in the Bufalino family … You apply to him when you have a business with the state …
Scorsese’s previous mafia movies “Goodfellas” (1990) and “Casino” (1995) are more about financial greed and ambition … In “The Irishman” the problem is not the longing for money, luxury or excess. On the contrary, for example, Russ is a humble screener… We don’t see any of his excesses throughout the movie. Hoffa doesn’t even put a drink in his mouth. It depends on his family and friends. But Hoffa is too arrogant in his power glut … He doesn’t particularly want to share his influence over the union with anyone. It is possible to say the same for the Bufalino Family. They cannot accept Hoffa’s throttling the credit taps and disobeying them. The conflict between them arises out of power and arrogance.
The Irishman review – Russ and Sheeran, who are intermediaries, witness firsthand how the event is getting out of control … They find themselves in the middle of an unnecessarily growing power struggle. But neither can go beyond being commanders. They do whatever the power centers they are attached to. Both are actually weak and weak against power.
I think one of the issues Scorsese focuses on in the film is the will or the states of lack of will … For example, Hoffa is a free individual, he has his own will, his own decisions. A little ambitious, aggressive, but strong in character … It is not possible to say the same for Russ and Sheeran. It’s important to remember that Sheeran’s daughter, Peggy, loves Hoffa, not Russ.
“The Irishman” is a movie in which the sense of tragedy prevails due to the point the characters reached in the final, but Scorsese never loses its ironic approach. This is a subtle irony full of wit … the scene where Sheeran learns who the laundromat he planned to bomb belongs to … It should be added that the last 45 minutes were shot from start to finish with bitter irony …

The Irishman Review

The Irishman review – There is no stylism in “Casino” and “Goodfellas” in “The Irishman.” 77-year-old Scorsese especially avoided scenes of exaggerated violence. He described most of Sheeran’s murders in scenes that he preferred to general plans. He hasn’t foamed and stylized any scenes of violence …
His simple style is striking, especially in the scenes where he describes the “Operation Detroit” … We know what will ultimately happen there, but we watch with great care how it happens … Chuckie (Jesse Plemons) and Sally (Louis Cancelmi) fish debate, what to laugh at moments of high tension. proof that we are as ready as …
Don’t be fooled by the fact that they introduce “The Irishman” as a mafia epic… Yes, it might be called epic due to its duration and the historical claim of the story it tells, but in the end, don’t expect a flashy movie that drags you into euphoric feelings. Scorsese deliberately avoided them all. Focused on the story and the characters … Those who expect formal games and emotional intensity may experience a little disappointment. A criminal drama that demands attention awaits you …
The Irishman review – On the other hand, after a certain point, I felt that the events had evolved into an unforgettable American tragedy, that he was dealing with one of the best organized crime films in the history of cinema … Especially the scene where Hoffa says “No one can threaten me” is impossible to forget …
Undoubtedly, the basis of everything is Charles Brandt’s book. Steven Zaillan’s script is also masterful… But “The Irishman” is actually a Scorsese movie. You feel his vision and the personality of the director.
The lead cast, consisting of master actors, does its part. They are all very good, but it can be said that Al Pacino stands out a little more … Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci seem to have a make-up or “special effects” problem …
1.85: 1 is undoubtedly the right format choice for a film with a focus on character and dialogue … I can say that the cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto avoided stylized lighting and a distinctive color palette throughout the film and adopted a realistic style.
Another reason I love the movie is feeling like there is a wise man behind the camera, enjoying his point of view … Scorsese is really adept at telling American tragedies …
The Irishman review 8/10

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