The Irishman

“The Irishman” by Martin Scorsese (2019)

Frank Sheeran, a war veteran and truck driver, becomes a hitman for the Philadelphia underworld. He is tasked with killing the popular union leader Jimmy Hoffa.


π‚π’π­πšπ³π’π¨π§πž.

“When I was young, I thought painters painted houses. What did I know? I was just a laborer for the Philadelphia’s Teamster sub-contracting crew, one of the best little jobs there is. And a guy like that doesn’t care about the house. Mistake, starting to become a construction worker painting houses too”.

(Frank Sheeran)

𝐓he loneliness of the painter.

There’s a way and a way to paint a house. And there are different houses and different goals. But one thing is certain: if your name is Frank Sheeran and your employer is Angelo Bruno or Russel Bufalino, your “painting” means smearing the walls of the houses where you kill designated victims with blood. And you don’t even ask yourself why you do it, simply because, as Russel says, 𝘐𝘡 π˜ͺ𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘒𝘡 π˜ͺ𝘡 π˜ͺ𝘴 / 𝘦’ 𝘲𝘢𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘰 𝘀𝘩𝘦 𝘦’, some things need to be done and that’s it. You realize this especially now that you are old and alone, with a daughter who, because of your behavior, doesn’t talk to you and doesn’t want to have any more relationship with you. And a wife who passed away. Now it’s easier to look back and rethink all those rules you blindly followed, all those situations that saw you on the scene as a mere executor. And you don’t delude yourself that the outcome could have been different. After all, there was never a choice for you. Now you know it. Now that you have nothing and are nobody anymore.


𝐂𝐨nsiderations.

Scorsese concludes his tetralogy on the underworld. After “Mean Streets”, “Goodfellas” and “Casino”, here comes this film that can be considered as the ultimate gangster movie. The Irishman is a sort of cinematographic summa of a genre and at the same time, most likely, the sunset of an era, its tombstone. It’s not a coincidence, in fact, that in this film, you can breathe a constant smell of death, a sort of shadow that follows the characters during their events. Sometimes even appearing in the form of superimposed writings on the images that serve as obituaries. And it’s not a coincidence that the last shots take place inside a cemetery. We have small men who think they are giants and who do everything they have to do (which often means betraying and killing), to respect and enforce increasingly anachronistic honor codes. There’s no romanticism, there’s nothing to understand, there’s only space, at the end, for the acceptance of a universal destiny that spares no one, since the dawn of time. A destiny that the character of Frank tries to face using small precautions in an attempt, in vain, to make it less definitive. Like that door left ajar in the final scene that is pure poetry signed by Scorsese. I conclude by pointing out that the director, with the blessing of the film’s financiers, chose to digitally rejuvenate three almost eighty-year-old actors, instead of hiring younger ones, thus amortizing the costs. He justified this choice by saying: “I wanted to make a film with my friends”.


The Irishman is a film that is almost a testament: lucid, ruthless, minimal in its staging but, despite this, of great class. Absolutely worth seeing. For future memory.


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