'The Irishman' Film Review
Movie Review Hot Off The Press
The Irishman is streaming on Netflix. If you know either who Robert De Niro or Martin Scorsese is and you like their movies, you are welcome, go watch it! But be warned, it’s very long, three and a half hours long. I personally managed to finish it in two days and numerous settings, thanks to the pausing button.
Yes, it’s another mob film adapted by Steven Zaillian based on Charles Brandt’s book I Heard You Paint Houses. These old-timers, such as Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, are good at what they do despite it’s been a while since their last collaboration in Casino. It’s a great film too, you need to watch it if you are into these sort of films, it’s got Sharon Stone in it as Robert De Niro’s wife. Goodfellas was the best one in my opinion, anyway, Google the director’s name and check his stuff out.
The film started with a slow pace in an 80s nursing home with Robert De Niro playing a wishful old Frank Shereen sitting in a wheelchair who was a war veteran turned blue-collar meat truck driver to mob hitman telling us about his good old days. How he got discovered by Russell Bufalino and introduced to Jimmy Hoffa who was a Teamster union leader and a hotheaded loudmouth which ultimately led to his own demise. The entire film seems to be fading in and out of different stories featuring different mob characters with their various criminal deeds which were held together by a 1975 ‘peacemaking’ trip with Frank, Russ and their wives with cigarette stops from Pennsylvania to Michigan. The transitions seemed smooth enough, thanks to the post-production team.
From Frank’s speech and facial expressions, I didn’t sense much remorse; he was still withholding information from the FBI regarding Jimmy’s death for obvious reasons. But perhaps a little sadness with what he had to do, namely killing Jimmy, who he considered his very close friend. But like what they said in the movie, it is what it is and he did what he did so that was that.
All the while watching the storytelling, I couldn’t help but notice how blue Robert De Niro’s eyes looked; were they natural or special effects? It looked unnaturally blue to me and they glowed; was it the lighting? Anyway, I think apart from the colour of the eyes, both Robert De Niro and Al Pacino looked overly groomed, to a degree that they looked freakily plastic to me. Were they wearing makeup or something, how bizarre. Jesus, they gave me the chills.
And what’s up with the beating of the shopkeeper part? It was so fake it made me feel like being made a fool out of while watching it. Robert De Niro was so bad at the beating act he looked as if he was gonna fall over backwards himself. God, please hire someone to direct the movements next time, it was painful to watch.
And in my opinion, too many slow motions. With the nice mellow music, one or two would be effective and dramatic enough to impress the audience but there were just too many. It made me start to think the director was flaunting it like a one-trick pony and it just got boring and tedious real quick.
Like many other films made by Martin, the length is an obvious problem, it’s just not practical, in theatres or online streaming platforms. In reality, people have lives, they need to cook and clean, look after their children and pets, take cigarette and bathroom breaks. Most films are less than two hours long for a very good reason, a long film like this would inevitably be interrupted by various elements that would reduce the quality of the viewing experience. If I was the editor, I’d trim some serious fat off and make it a lot tighter.
Anyway, it’s mellow, it’s violent, it’s dramatic, and overall a good film. Just make sure you sort pragmatic aspects of your life out to your best ability before watching it, with plenty of popcorn and drinks. Enjoy!