For those worried about the three-and-a-half-hour run time of Martin Scorsese’s Netflix feature-length: don’t. The Irishman breezes by impressively fast, and in consideration of its arresting chronicle, it could’ve gone on longer without a complaint to be left in sight. With a classic Scorsese script, striking veteran performances, and a resolution like no other gangster tale, The Irishman lends itself as another above glorious accomplishment for the 76-year-old directing icon’s career.
So, what exactly is The Irishman about? In actuality, the lovely Carrie Fisher said it best: “It’s about family. And that’s what’s so powerful about it.” Indeed, it’s about your best friends, your brothers, your sisters, the love of your life, and all the unhinged, gangster-ass s*** you’d do for them as if you had no screws tightened in your cranium. Furthermore though, it’s about how damn easy it is to jeopardize these associations when you begin blurring the line between who’s family and who’s not, because, in a line of work, you can meet a lot of people; a lot being partners that you could trust more than even your own blood.
Scorsese’s 40-something-th film is, moreover, a reiteration of the vintage saying, “duty over family and the acceptance of a dishonest persona is guaranteed to bite you in the ass later down the road.” The Irishman dictates that success in life is an unapologetically impossible goal to achieve since loss will always creep in any direction you attempt to avoid it. It’s a been-there-done-that precept, certainly, but Scorsese executes it in such a fresh and fashionable arrangement—like the auteur literally ALWAYS does—that it’s difficult to find the circumstance distorted.
Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci don’t deliver old grandpa performances for the sake of delivering old grandpa performances because they’ve got a contract to fulfill. These two legends have gone out of their way to deliver their most sincere “ruffian” performances of their entire ever-expanding careers. But in an unexpected sweep—concealed under decades of ropy decisions—Al Pacino takes the victory for stand-out performance of this mafia epic. All of a sudden, I wish that the man had been in every Scorsese feature ever.
At the end of my viewing, I had extracted one complaint from The Irishman that I’m sure several people will be obtaining as well, especially if you’re familiar with Scorsese’s 65-year-long filmography. The first two acts of The Irishman are severely indistinguishable to Goodfellas, unironically resembling the joke that some have speculated about the feature’s vibe appearing to be like some sort of Good “Old” Fellas. A lot of the main characters in The Irishman share distinctly similar attributes and destinies that many individuals had in Goodfellas. The way the first-person narrative is told is also, quite identical. Scorsese’s shock value of violence has become loosely predictable at this point, and the underground world of Italian mafias and screwball psychopaths are more than representative of Goodfellas atmosphere.
Howbeit, the third act of The Irishman—with no spoilers of course—is sincerely a bone-crushing desert that came as a genuine surprise. With some of Scorsese’s most intense directing applied to the presentation’s fierce climax and a conclusion that’s sworn to leave viewers more blue than enlightened, The Irishman decides to end more so like Shutter Island than anything of a Goodfellas-type ordeal.
So, yep, it’s f****** fantastic. Scorsese fans will be geeking out harder than ever before and critics will be more than enraptured by the very personal ordeal. Get your calendars marked, Netflix militants!
Martin Scorsese Ranked, 2019 Ranked
“The Irishman” will be released in select theaters on November 1, 2019, and will be available to stream on Netflix, November 27, 2019.