By Declan McGuire ‘20
Everyone knows a crazy story. Whether they have heard it, told it, or lived it their entire life. But Frank Sheeran, The Irishman, probably has the most to tell. Whether it is the time he had to shoot Crazy Joe on his birthday in front of his wife and kids, or when he had to kill Whispers, Frank Sheeran has a million stories of his time as a house painter, or hitman, for the Pennsylvania mob.
The Irishman is one of the longest, and arguably better, films on Netflix now. With a star-studded cast of actors, like Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino, the only bad thing about this film is its ridiculous length: 3 hours and 30 minutes.
The story of Frank, “The Irishman”, Sheeran is told to us by the man himself in his nursing home. Whether it is with a voiceover or a live look at him sitting in his wheelchair with his aviators on, Sheeran does not fail to tell all in this film.
It starts off by flashing back to the early days when Frank was just a truck delivery boy, and one day when his car broke down, Russell Bufalino helped him out. At the time it seemed to be nothing, but soon it would lead him into his new lifestyle as a hitman for the Bufalino crime family and the rest of the mob.
Frank is beloved by Russell, and they develop a relationship together that would last a lifetime. The Irishman quickly works his way up, starting off as merely nothing but another guy with a gun, to soon working for the world-famous Jimmy Hoffa.
Frank is Hoffa’s bodyguard, his friend, and his roommate, as they travel the country together while Hoffa speaks and does just about whatever he can in front of a crowd of people to make them love him and the teamsters.
At this point in the film, I began to zone out. As I stated before, this film is 3 and a half hours, and even in quarantine, that is still a very, very long time to sit still and watch something. In my honest opinion, I feel they really could have split the movie into two at this point.
Viewers already have the story of everything in Frank’s life up until he gets involved with Hoffa, his ascent to mob royalty, and then, at this point, you could end it. Then, start a part two and show the downfall of it all up until the present day. I just feel that Martin Scorsese started to turn the film from Frank as the focus to Jimmy Hoffa, and that is where I was confused about where he was going next.
As it progresses, it does begin to make more sense. We see how this life not only affects Frank, but those around him. For example, Frank’s daughter, Peggy, almost never says a word the whole film. But Peggy gives every man in Frank’s circle a strong, judgmental glare, almost like she is staring into their soul and knows what they have done. Peggy seems to be scared of Frank and Russell the whole film, but she absolutely loves Jimmy Hoffa.
After Hoffa’s mysterious disappearance, Peggy does the same, and the rest of Frank’s family pretty much follows, leaving him all alone.
By the tail-end of the film, we are all caught up to the current day. We hear of how Frank, Russell, and all of the other guys in the mob ended up getting thrown into jail to spend almost all the rest of their days.
As the last man standing, Frank finally tries to fix his life. He goes back to meet with one of his kids, and he begins to pray more. But he still refuses to rat on anyone he knew to the FBI.
All in all, “The Irishman” was a great film. The story line was phenomenal and the actors were just as good, if not better. The only real downside to it is the length. Although it is based on the book about Frank Sheeran, and they attempt to make it as accurate as possible, I just feel it is too long for anyone to really want to sit through more than once, if they can even make it through that. If you have the time and the energy, I definitely recommend watching this film, but make sure you get comfy and get snacks before you begin.
In conclusion, I am glad I watched this film and I hope this review helps you find out if you should watch it or not as well. My final score for the film is a 7.1/10.