The Irishman

Not Blockbuster gold

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The Irishman

Photo by Netflix

Photo by Netflix

Photo by Netflix

Demi Tsavekou

Movies like The Godfather, Goodfellas, A Bronx Tale and Casino are mob movies that people have raved about for decades. The common thread? Robert De Niro.

With his history, director Martin Scorsese knew De Niro would be perfect for the role of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, the main character in the 2019 film, The Irishman.

Like other mob movies, this 1960s era film encompassed the basic ideas of power, jealousy and desperation. Although the movie featured world-renowned actors like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, I closed my Netflix app feeling extremely dissatisfied.

One of the main issues I had with the film was the pacing; the time jumps were hard to follow. Switching from Frank in a nursing home to baptizing his firstborn daughter earlier in his life was a sudden switch that left viewers lost.

Along with the time jumps, there were unclear connections between global issues and how the mobsters played into them. The Bay of Pigs Invasion and Cuban Missile Crisis were two examples of this.

Viewers could infer how the mobsters and these events were related, but there were no detailed or explained impacts on Frank, his fellow “friends” and the main characters: Russell Bufalino and Jimmy Hoffa.

Russell was Frank’s life-long friend who brought him into the mob business and was one of the characters that audiences should understand.

However, there were characters such as “Tony Pro” and “Crazy Joe” who acted differently throughout the film, often switching allies and opinions. This made it confusing to follow the plot for the 3 hour and 30 minute marathon.

Most disappointingly, it took 1 hour and 30 minutes to involve Jimmy Hoffa in the movie. Viewers like myself were hoping to hear about the conspiracy theories and some of the miraculous projects Hoffa executed.

Along with Hoffa not being present for parts of the movie, women were also shut out. There were few women mentioned in the movie, with the exception of the wives and daughters of the mobsters. However, even when they were pictured on screen, they had no speaking part; they were simply placed in scenes with a cigarette hanging from their lips to show that mobsters committed crimes while surrounded by silent women.

This film, which was said to be one of the best of 2019, was sloppy, confusing and overall disappointing. Interestingly enough, The Irishman was not released in any AMC theatres. It was only released in a limited number of theatres, mostly around old mobster hotspots, which is something this movie did not have the prestige to do.

I didn’t learn much from this movie, but I did learn this gruesome mob saying that people are definitely going to start using since they were pressured to watch The Irishman: “painting houses.” This phrase was used amongst mobsters to explain how  they murdered people and left their victim’s blood spewed along the walls, as if they were house painting. Next time someone mentions they want to paint houses, wonder what they really  mean and if they too were a victim of this horrible film.