What is the first thing that would come to mind if they are told that there is a film directed and starring 4 subjects, all over 75 years? If we could really get that question out of context, we would have a fairly even answer within the general public. At the very least, there would be enough people who might think it can be boring. Watch now the new The Irishman movie to find out if it is.
And if we add that it lasts more than 3 hours and a half? Surely that pessimistic number would increase much more. But it is impossible to ask that question because they are not 4 gentlemen. They are, without a doubt, fundamental people in the history of cinema. And one of them, the one who directs specifically, has a unique talent.
Starring Robert De Niro and accompanied by two stars like Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, he finally premiered on Netflix the most recent work by Martin Scorsese, who by the way, 3 years ago did not release a film. Talking about who these guys are is almost irrelevant. His work and history speak for itself.
The 4, to a greater or lesser extent, represent the best that American cinema could do. But if there is something that makes them even bigger than they already were, at this age, in this industry that increasingly marginalizes a particular film style and supports empty content stories, these guys have been able to do this film, and they have done so well. Indeed, The Irishman is, without a doubt, excellent work.
The film works as an adaptation of the book "I Heard You Paint Houses" written by Charles Brandt. It tells the life of Frank Sheeran, a gangster of the 60s, and his relationship with the life of Jimmy Hoffa, an American trade unionist. This story is not only based on real events and some of them quite verifiable, but it continually connects with events and moments of American culture, giving it a specific space and context that greatly helps what the film wants to tell.
What he wants to tell, by the way, is one of the most interesting elements of the film, because The Irishman is not a simple gangster movie. Yes, it has all those scenes and those moments that we can expect from such a movie, but it also has a depth and ideas that clearly demonstrate that a big one is sitting in the director's chair.
This cinematographic intention, of various resources and beautiful audiovisual tools, is accompanied by a great script. The story of such a long duration is told with impressive mastery. The management of temporality, the dialogues, the conflicts and, above all, the characters, have such a careful construction that in some situations they even get animated to compete and want to overshadow the talent of the director.
It is in this attention to detail and in this care for how dramatic we find one of the most important values of the film, generating that crucial difference between this history of gangsters and any others out there. This is the life of Frank Sheeran, and it cannot belong to anyone else.
To this talent is added a beautiful share of humor very well developed that facilitates watching the 3 hours and a half. All this quality ceases to surprise so much when we see that the scriptwriter is Steven Zaillian, who has in his curriculum the libretto of one of the best films in the history of cinema: Schindler's List.
It is true that perhaps the first half-hour requires some effort and a bet from the viewer towards the film, but if we let the barrier diffuse from the beginning of the first act, we are really rewarded with an excellent story. Watch online the masterpiece.