Staff Writer: Barry Jones
Director Martin Scorsese rounded up a star-studded cast of Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci for The Irishman, released Nov. 27 on Netflix.
The film is a narrative that follows the story of Frank Sheeran (De Niro) and his relationship with the prolific union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). The film is based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. This story is based on real individuals and it surprisingly features a lot of historically accurate information about the Buffalino crime family.
Sheeran, the narrator and protagonist, details his growth from a meat truck driver to a powerful hitman for the Buffalino crime family. Frank has the classic coming-of-age story in which he starts from rags and rises the ranks within the Italian mob. Many interesting characters are introduced, including John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. The film also touches on who may have possibly been responsible for the assassination of JFK. Furthermore, the film truly hones in on the estranged character that is Hoffa.
Hoffa presents himself as a charismatic leader of the Teamsters Labor Union, a union that at its peak had more than 1 million members. Hoffa established a relationship with the Buffalino crime family as a mode of protection. Frank offers a unique perspective on the mystery surrounding Hoffa, which runs quite deep. Many think he was killed and buried under the Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey.
Many have come out in support of the film, comparing it to the other mafia films such as Goodfellas. Despite its long duration, 3 hours and 30 minutes, it has managed to capture the attention of viewers worldwide.
“I thought the cinematography was beautiful and very detailed,” said Richard Waters, an HU senior from New Jersey. “The acting was great, and the pacing was even better.”
Though many are typically turned off by longer films, if you are into crime films with a fair share of historical accuracy and phenomenal cinematography, this is a perfect winter break watch.