Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellas, 1990, USA
Director: Martian Scorsese
Starring: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro & Joe Pesci
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a gangster.

Gangster films have quickly become one of my favourite movie genres since my friend Josh Pelchin lent me Pulp Fiction. Whilst Tarantino focus on the modern interpretation of 'gangsters,' I do get a real kick out of films based on the gangsters of old. Goodfellas is one of such films and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Harvey Hill, Tommy DiVito and Jimmy Conway refer to themselves as the 'goodfellas.' Although they work for Italian mob boss Pauly, the three aline themselves to each other. This film reveals the gangster life these gentlemen enjoy, the bonds formed, and broken, in the mob, and ultimately the driving force behind a man in such a position and what one is willing to do to stay there.
This film has been wonderfully directed by one of my personal favourite directors, Martian Scorsese. This is and intelligent film that at times feels more like a biopic. But whatever it is, it works. Irwin Winkler is and adequate producer but Goodfellas is defiantly his finest work and I was impressed with the production if this film.
The life of a gangster displayed in Goodfellas is based upon first-and-foremost respect. If you're disrespectful, you get whacked. All characters pride themselves on being respectful to themselves and their friends. This under-flowing theme actual makes the film quite easy to watch for the main part, making the violent or aggressive parts all the more entertaining. I have no idea if this is actual gangster life, but watching this film almost made me feel involved in Pauly's little 'family.' I always admire a film that can involve the audience.
Although most of it was pretty good, elements of the film making in this film where superb. Parts, such as Harvey's breaking of the forth wall, felt amazing, unexpected yet appropriate, and simply incredible! I loved all the scenes featuring the lovely Karen (Bracco) and character development of central characters was very, very well done.
The film features some great acting roles all of the major accounts. I loved Ray Loitta as Harvey, Joe Pesci as Tommy and who can forget De Niro in any of his roles, especially as the iconic James 'Jimmy' Conway. I was also impressed with Lorraine Bracco's character Karen. This was a very well developed character who we note obvious and appropriate changes in her personality as the film goes on. She was one of the best inclusions of the film and was very well portrayed by Bracco. All other characters, bar maybe Pauly, did feel out of place and they were not strongly developed or utilised.
I have used the word favourite a lot in this review because one of my favourite directors has created one of my favourite gangster films, a genre which is one of my favourites. It isn't the best film I have ever come across and didn't leave me spellbound afterwards, but I defiantly did enjoy it and as always, I got a real good kick for a Scorsese film. This film was a lot better than what I expected and I had fun immersing myself in this film.
**** (4/5)

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