The Irishman Review – A riveting saga through the lens of a henchman

The Irishman Review – A riveting saga through the lens of a henchman

'The' Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci have just come up with another blockbuster titled ‘The Irishman’. The movie has been well received at the box office before it made its way to the audience that views content out of the box. The Irishman is adapted from Charles Brandt’s book, ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’.

The scene opens at a Philadelphia old age home, where a cancer-stricken Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) gleefully walks us down memory lane giving us insight into his life as a World War II veteran, who rose in the ranks and lent a hand at making America what it is today. As he narrates his story, there is a medley of emotions that is riddled with both pride and regret. The ever-strapping voice over is backed by a video that seamlessly captures the passing decades, simply propelling viewers through the capsule of time.

Frank Sheeran describes his friendship with Russel Bufalino (Joe Pesci), and how through him he has met with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), the founder of the Teamsters. The Teamsters is a non-political union that works towards the ‘solidarity’ of the working class. The man has no fear in life, except for ‘Tony Pro’, that Jimmy dismissively refers to as ‘The Little Guy’ (Domenick Lombardozzi). As time passes, and the Kennedys come to the fore as head of government, he does everything in his power to sully Jimmy’s reputation. Jimmy invests a lot of faith in Frank and gives him an honourable position at the Teamsters.

Apart from that, there is a lot of dirty work and corruption involved in seeing companies rise and fall of companies at the whim of the rival unions. The Cuban invasion is also given its due focus in the film. Frank, on the other hand, doesn’t mind doing the same, as he is now a family man with many mouths to feed. However, he must be careful, as even though he casts a watchful eye as he carries out an act. There are rogues after him, who would be more than willing to sabotage his reputation.

Even though the film is slightly long, the same encompasses a very distinct yet seamless fly of decades. There is not a dull moment that could get one to nod away. The editor of the film can be well credited for the same as he walks us through unique techniques that aspiring filmmakers can incorporate to record certain events.

The vignettes imbue the importance of time; giving us the perfect sense of detail. Even though some of the elements could be fictitious, Martin Scorsese has blended them well with reality. After all, it involves dirtying a lot of hands to get some good work done! The makeup is convincing, and Robert De Niro is armed with just as much zest and valour to give his best even to this day.

Rating: 4.5/5


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