The Irishman

The Irishman ★★★★

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I watched this last night, but by the time it was over, I was so tired that I didn't have the energy to even attempt writing a review. In the end, it's also probably a good idea to sleep on a three and a half hour film. So, hey, The Irishman, it's finally out and I watched it. I liked it a lot. The most notable problem in my mind does admittedly come down to the CGI work used to de-age De Niro. Sometimes it does look pretty good, other times it even looked uncanny, but other times, I honestly thought it looked bad. Thankfully, this was primarily in earlier scenes of the film, and as the plot kept moving, this is the kind of story where the effects like that don't matter. There's maybe some other various issues with pacing and the occasional odd line, but that's about it.

Beyond whatever flaws the film might have, I think its strengths far outweigh them. Here we have what is likely based on what I've seen Scorsese's most melancholic and quiet feature. You'll have a ton of good oldie needle drops and occasional bursts of quick but effective violence, yet I find the greatest power of the feature to be silence. When we are left in a room seeing older men converse, reflect on an event, deciding what needs to be done, that was even riveting at some points. De Niro is great as always, and seeing Pesci back is of course an utter joy, yet I think my favorite performance comes from Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa. His energy is magnetic and his occasional bursts of anger as unsettling as Russell Bufalino's silent looks. Though the performance from Hoffa is overall my favorite from the feature, this is through and through the story of Frank Sheeran. A man who provides for his family and someone who is told more than once directly that he is lucky to have the family he has. Even then, after a certain point in the feature, the narrative takes a turn, and something unnerving sets in.

Martin Scorsese is going to die. Robert De Niro is going to die, so is Joe Pesci and Al Pacino, and so is every single person that's reading this review right now. One of these days, we have to confront death, some sooner than others. Sheeran is a man surrounded by death, whether he brings it or not. He reaches a point when his friends and his enemies are gone from his life, and his family starts to follow. A genuine fear I have when it comes to passing away is that I'll look back on however many decisions I've made in my life, and I'll have too many regrets. Coming to the realization that I can't change the past no matter how much I want to, that's something I'm going to have to face, and I don't know if I'll be able to. And, for the things that I would be able to fix or at least heal, I'm afraid that I'll be like Frank, not realizing that there is a problem until it's too late. And, then having to sit alone, tired, old, the only thing left waiting for me being the grave. I don't know if you'll walk away from the film with this same feeling, but I think there is something truly worthwhile going on in this feature regardless, and I look forward to even watching it again down the line. However hard, I hope we all find peace.

8.5/10

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