Yo Ho! Nightrider here.
Be forewarned: find a time in the daylight to see the newest movie The Irishman because it’s not good to see it starting at 11:30 PM. Clocking in at 3 hours 29 minutes, Martin Scorcese’s The Irishman is another masterpiece since Goodfellas and Casino.
There be no spoilers here!
The Irishman is based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran and Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa by Charles Brandt. The movie tells the career of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (portrayed by Robert De Niro); he was an American labor union official who had links to the Bufalino crime family. A veteran from World War II, Sheeran associated with mafia bosses Russell Bufalino (portrayed by Joe Pesci) and Angelo Bruno (portrayed by Harvey Keitel in a supporting role) after receiving help from Russell’s cousin Bill Bufalino (portrayed by Ray Romano in a supporting role). He then becomes close with the Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (portrayed by Al Pacino).
Even though I started to watch this film at 11:30 PM, I was enthralled by the storytelling that Scorcese is known for. There’s intrigue, suspense, thrills, and cold realities to “handling problems.” The chemistry between De Niro’s Sheeran to Pacino’s Hoffa is real considering that Pacino and De Niro have been friends for almost 50 years. Pesci’s portrayal of Russel Bufalino is superb, especially because he is not portraying a violent character; Bufalino just wanted things to work.
As the story moves along, you see some characters that don’t come back for the rest of the movie. They have a nice attitude when you see them but the captions under their names say why you won’t see them again. This is reminiscent of the famous Goodfellas scene where you meet the crew (most famously, Jimmy Two Times).
According to the book, Sheeran details his confession on what really happened to Jimmy Hoffa on 30 July 1975. However, this huge topic is still in dispute, although there is evidence that corroborates with Sheeran’s story. This version of Hoffa’s last day in portrayed well, leaving the viewer to see that this is a logical conclusion to the story of Hoffa.
The visual effects of the de-aging of Pesci, De Niro and Pacino are such that you can barely tell even though you know it’s there. Eventually, the past becomes the present and the flow between the young and old faces helps show the progression of time in the film.
Martin Scorcese has done it again and I am glad I watched The Irishman without sleeping thanks to brilliant storytelling devices, the suspense of the actions of the characters and the cold aftermaths after the disappearance of Hoffa. When I finally went to bed after 3 AM, it left me wondering if Sheeran could have done something different in his life and not associate with Russell Bufalino. The ending says otherwise as an age-old question pops up again: was it worth it?