Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman recently premiered on Netflix. The Frank “Irishman” Sheeran and Jimmy Hoffa biopic is critically acclaimed but will it add Nigeria’s audience acclaim to its already colourful hat?
The Irishman is a fantastic film but definitely not an “all audience” movie. You might also need to dust your history books and get digging before settling down to the three and a half hour Mob Epic.
If The Irishman is on your watchlist, you’re set to discover this sense of odd satisfaction that’ll come from overcoming the first half of the movie. For your patience, you’ll get double measure pleasure from Al Pacino’s scintillating performance. The feeling of bliss is quite indescribable. Perhaps, there are no adjectives that fit. For lovers of Scorsese’s Goodfellas, the first half might not be that tedious. In fact, it’s probably going to leave that nostalgic taste in their mouths. It’s undiluted Scorsese!
De-ageing technology is Hollywood’s current rave, and it’s a hundred per cent crucial to the development of The Irishman‘s story. The audience must see De Niro, Pesci, Al Pacino ( 70s) in their 30s, 40s and 80s and it’s impressive how the Effects team pull this stunt using CGI.
I’ll admit it did look and feel creepy especially in scenes where the face of young De Niro appears on the screen but his body movement doesn’t quite fit. His movement is slow and calculated, typically that of a man in his Seventies.
Robert De Niro plays the titular character, Frank Sheeran, a WW II veteran turned Bufalino crime family hitman. The entire story, based on Charles Brandt I Heard You Paint Houses, is told from Sheeran’s point of view. He pretty much confesses to being behind some historical crimes especially the murder of union leader Jimmy Hoffa (his disappearance remains officially unresolved). Like most Mafia films, The Irishman is a tale of hard men and their one-sided love for their families and swinging loyalties for crime lords and alliances.
Unlike most, there is no romanticism here. The Irishman takes a confessional, less passionate approach to America’s intriguing world of notorious Crime families.
America’s history (none of our business), the cost of data, coupled with how honestly fatigue-inducing the first half of The Irishman is, the average Nigerian audience might want to skip this film. It’s fine as it happened to even the best of us.
Regardless, The Irishman is beautiful. The attention to detail in costuming, props, scripting and the technicalities of sound and cinematography is simply mindblowing. It’s, in fact, a filmmaker’s textbook!