The Irishman marks the long-awaited reunion of Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci from "Casino" in 1995, a momentous event of contemporary cinema. The history of Scorsese and De Niro is of the anthology. If you are a movie lover, it is a story that you cannot ignore. But what if this great trio, we add another legend like Al Pacino? Pacino, who has previously worked with Robert De Niro (Heat, The Godfather 2, and Righteous Kill), appears for the first time in a film by the famous director. And it was worth this wait! Watch it online to find out.
The Irishman is an epic of organized crime in postwar America, through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a scammer who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the twentieth century.
Based on the memoirs I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, a former investigator, and lawyer, Sheeran de De Niro, narrates the saga from a retirement home, while Scorsese goes back in time to tell us where everything starts. Through flashbacks, Sheeran fills the gap between then and now, explaining his rise from truck driver to hitman and how he comes to Hoffa's life, going through his dealings with Nixon, his fight with the Kennedy and his eventual disappearance.
The book also contains all the elements of Scorsese's classics: large-scale action during a time when the Mafia reigned; a rich portrait of unforgettable protagonists as a large contingent of idiosyncratic support figures who jump from anonymity to being relevant figures; a history of friendship and family; and the terrible consequences of betrayal. The film is less a gang story and more a movie that reflects on getting older.
Robert De Niro plays Frank Sheeran, whose story of his life as a hitman takes us into the darkest side of organized crime, its internal functioning, its rivalries, its arcane social structures, and its connections with the politics of the time.
Al Pacino is Jimmy Hoffa, a union leader who consolidated his power in the 1940s and 1950s and achieved fame and notoriety as the most powerful unionist in the country. Joe Pesci is Russell Bufalino, the so-called 'quiet gift' that hides a vast domain of criminal activity behind his curtain business in Pennsylvania. Undercover mentor of Frank Sheeran, who guides him to the criminal underworld and fosters the friendship between Sheeran and Hoffa.
The use of rejuvenation techniques is initially shocking, but after the minute's progress, we get used to them and they are familiar. Where it really impresses us is in the final scenes of the film, where De Niro and Pesci age, becoming fragile before our eyes. Naturally, death looms over them, but it is a constant feeling throughout the film and not because of the sporadic murders that occur in it, particularly because death slowly reveals itself as the great and inevitable equalizer.
As mystics as these characters may seem, their slow dissolution keeps them human. Their problems, their obsessions and their fantasies (Hoffa cannot stop eating ice cream for example), add to something more moving than their impending physical disappearance, gives them an air of vulnerability within an environment where this word would be a sin.
The three men have become basic elements of pop culture, infinitely admired, and The Irishman serves as a reminder of what made them those icons. It is impossible not to feel something of stoicism for a De Niro that finally gives way to a feeling of regret for one of his gangsters and for the heartbreaking stubbornness of Pacino with a hint of sweetness. The silent figure of Pesci is imposing, it offers us a stoic character but really scary and with a calm evil that stops beating and makes you feel it is cold sweat that rolls down your neck.
Undoubtedly Scorsese has created another classic, not only of the subgenre of gangsters but of modern cinema, again. Watch it now and enjoy the incredible movie.