Goodfellas - Marvelous Mobs and Murder
This ballad of New York City gangsters began with a bang. The opening scene portrays a bloodied, blinded victim tied up in the trunk of a car. My first thought was "how are they going to top this?" Nonetheless, Martin Scorsese and the entire production crew continued to leave the audience in excitement and disgusted admiration. The fact that this movie is based off of horrifically true events makes it that much more unnerving and thus entertaining. The film dives deep into the nooks and crannies of mafia culture, sparing no harsh details, regardless of the brutality.
The Theme and Purpose
Many people that have seen this film have complained about the screenplay, calling it “lazy” due to the vast usage of profanity, however I have come to the conclusion that the explicitness added an element of truth to it. What many don't understand, is that this film was created to open eyes and unveil the ugly face of mafia and crime in the 50’s to late 70’s America, and during that time, in the midst of their fugitive culture, this is the type of language that gangsters and hustlers would have and do use. For that reason, it makes sense to include and even glorify the irreverent mouths of the characters. Another thing that many conservative audiences did not enjoy was the frequent scenes of drug/alcohol abuse throughout the film. Again I repeat: this is necessary to include when creating a purposeful film about the mob. Furthermore, this is based primarily off the life of the main character, Henry Hill, who did experience the events in the film truthfully. As hard as it is for some of us to fathom, substance abuse is very common in the subcultures of our country, if not venerated, the Mafia being the most notorious of these subcultures. Overall, the film was very true to life, entertaining, and well made.
Camera work was prestigious, using 28mm lenses to create a retro aura, while the images remained true to the work and very polished and clean. The acting was beyond expectation. Ray Liotta as Henry Hill was a very good choice, pinning the role as if he were actually Hill, not to mention DeNiro and Pesci's performances as bloodthirsty mob-men, which were certainly Oscar worthy. Final decision: 9/10.