DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese
NOT A PART OF OUR COLLECTION
May Contain Spoilers!
Will we be adding this to our collection? MAYBE
Ten years after Robert De Nero and Joe Pesci were together in another Scorsese classic, Raging Bull (1980), they are reunited here along with Ray Liotta in another true story, this time revolving around New Jersey’s organised crime syndicates. This was another milestone for cinema, similar to Scarface (1983), this not so much pushed the boundaries of foul language but demolished them, but whilst many were put off by the profanity, it’s all part Pesci’s expert delivery of one of the genre’s most defining characters.
Tommy De Vito (Joe Pesci) was evil, yet slightly likeable. He’s a maniac who delivers some of the scariest scenes outside any horror movie, as he asks the question, “Do you think I’m funny? Do I amuse you?” in his Bronx tones, before the cold-blooded murder of a young man who stands up his taunts. But what this film also does, is show us the working class gangster. The idea that they must work their way up the firm and never forget their roots. If they murder someone, they bury them. They get their hands dirty in every way.
The family set ups are good too, with simple and flawed relationships, which you might find in any walk of life. This technique is what works for Scorsese and helps to create a relatable world, which hopefully is a world apart from the rest of us. But it’s nice to think that mobsters have the same problems as us. He also has no problem being playful in dealing with the more extreme reactions to these problems either. In an argument, people die. In another, honour and reason prevail. There’s no way to be sure which way Scorsese is going to go.
Not his best film, but certainly one of them.