Hi guys! Missed me? I’ve missed ya’ll loads. Don’t worry, I’m back and I’m back swinging with a bunch of reviews. I’m back at at it again after a busy period but it’s great to be back reviewing movies. Many more reviews will be posted in the coming days, especially with awards fast approaching. And what a way to usher in my comeback in the wordpress film blogging community than this review of The Irishman. Enjoy!
Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is, by and large, a fading relic of cinema. Whilst I eagerly anticipated Scorsese’s final hurrah to be a last assertive stamp on the very genre he pioneered, this turned out to be the opposite. Laden with an overly-long run time, incessant machismo tantrums and shouting matches, the film is plagued by the unbearable toxicity and dread of male egotism and gangster business. While those themes do illuminate more interesting aspects of male insecurity, broken familial relationships and the deafening silence of female disapproval (mostly through Anna Paquin’s character), it is hardly enough. The Irishman’s primary perspective, voice and time are given to the gangsters who’s only redemption is their final grasp that life has made them old and frail. Scorsese’s film is a disappointment not only because nothing new is explored but also because it is a dragged-out portrait of a fading genre. It is a feeble, unmoving mess that lumbers on and on and on.
Coupled with the incongruous and mostly unsuccessful CGI effect of de-aging the actors, The Irishman’s dearth of emotional connection is emphasized. The actor’s themselves were mediocre except for Joe Pesci. He was able to show the quiet and brooding solitude of the character which is a nice change to roles normally associated with him. However, DeNiro and Al Pacino were mediocre at best. For all the glitz and glamour, The Irishman catalyzes the nadir of a genre and the actors who once proliferated its heyday. Anna Paquin and Marin Ireland’s few scenes in the film were powerful and it is such a shame that The Irishman chose to go down the old beaten path. So much of the run-time was dedicated to the cigarette-smoking, alcohol littered rooms of gangster-talk. With all the talk about wanting to have a ‘reflective’ and ‘introspective’ gangster film, one would think of giving the matrons of the family an active voice and perspective. One would think to assert more agency in the daughters who, undeservedly, have their childhood indelibly and devastatingly shaped by the chaotic choices of father figures.
Instead of dedicating so much time to incessant temper tantrums and conversations that mimic the ilk of ‘What do you mean? That’s what I meant!’, The Irishman should have given greater individual expression and active voices to the female characters in the film whose sacrifice (both willing and unwilling) is largely ignored. This is why I don’t buy the idea that The Irishman was giving a power to females through silence; The one silent scene is a consolation to this lumbering, ineffectual mess of bruised male egos. A characterization that The Irishman is somehow empowering or diverse in perspective is an absolutely shocking excuse to paper the cracks of a film that has been given implicit reverence and adulation. I’ll call it what it is; Neither DeNiro, Pacino, Pesci nor Scorsese saves this trite, unimaginative, machismo malady.
What did you guys think! Leave a comment! 🙂