I watched Martin Scorsese’s film, “Goodfellas”, which, when I refused to leave, had tempered my inner characters. It was a mood of guilt and remorse, for a life ruined by quick foolish decisions, loyalty turned into betrayal. Yet at the same time there was an element of agile apathy, for bad times that should not be missed, but were.

Most films, even great ones, fade away like mist once you return to the real world. They leave the memories behind, but their reality ends quite quickly. Not a film that showcases America’s finest filmmaker at the peak of his form. No finer films have ever been made about organized crime – not even “The Godfather”, although the two works are not really comparable.

The Movie background

“Goodfellas,” released on 9th September 1990, is a memoir of life in the mafia, narrated in the first person by Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), an Irish-Italian child whose only ambition was from his early teens, A “wise man,” a mafia. Karen is also described by the Jewish girl (Lorraine Bracco) who married her, and who discovered that her entire social life was suddenly inside the mafia.

The wives of the mob never went anywhere or talked to anyone who was not part of that world, and ultimately, she says, the values ​​of the mafia seem like normal values. She was also proud of her husband for not lying around the house all day, having the energy and the courage to steal in order to survive.

One is the real Henry Hill, who disappeared in oblivion to the federal government’s witness protection program, and who over the span of four years told reporter Nicholas Pilghee everything about the crowd, whose WiseGee: Life in a Mafia Family was the best-selling.

Book of Pilghee and Scorsese’s screenplay transforms those memories into a fantasy that sometimes plays out like a documentary, with so much information and emotion about the mafia that it eventually evokes the same claustrophobic feeling of Hill’s wife. Talks about: the feeling that the crowd is the world. real world.

Why Scorsese is the best director for this movie

Scorsese is the right director – the only director for this material. He knows it inside out. The great early experience of his life was growing up in Little Italy, New York, as an outsider who had seen everything – an asthmatic child who could not play sports, whose health allowed him to lead a normal childhood Too bad, which was often overlooked. , But never missed a thing.

There is a passage at the beginning of the film in which the young Henry Hill stares out the window of his family’s apartment and looks in awe and is jealous of the swarm of low-level intelligent people in the social club across the street, influenced by the fact that They brought the girls, drove hot cars, had money, that the police never gave them tickets, that when their loud parties went on all night, no one called the police.

This was the life he wanted to lead, the narrative tells us. The memory may have come from Hill and may have been in Pilghee’s book, but memory is also of Scorsese, and in the 23 years that I have known him, we have never had any conversation that would in his vision at any point on that central image It does not touch itself – that of the child in the window, looking at the miscreants of the neighborhood.


Like “The Godfather,” Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” is a lengthy film with space and leisure to expand and explore its themes. It is not about any particular conspiracy; It’s about how it feels in the mafia – good times and bad times. At first, they were mostly good times, and there is a surprising camera movement in which the points of view follow Henry and Karen on their first dates, to the Copacabana nightclub.

There are people waiting in line at the door, but Henry leads her through the service entrance, through security guards and off-duty waiters, down a corridor, through the kitchen, through the service area, and out in front. goes. The club, where a table is literally raised in the air and placed in front of all the others to keep the young couple in the first row for a floor show. This is power.

Karen doesn’t yet know exactly what Henry does. He finds it.


The film’s methodology is a slow expansion through the mafia levels, with the characters being carelessly introduced and some of them not really developed until later in the story. We meet Don Cicero (Paul Sorvino), and Jim (Jimmy the Gent) Conway (Robert De Niro), a man who steals for the sheer love of robbery, and Tommy DeVito (Joe Gacy), a charming boy. Is, except that its fatalities may burst into each other with fatalities.

We follow them through 30 years; First, through years of no unspecified power, then through years of decline (but they have their own kitchen in prison, and thick steak and wine boxes), and then in betrayal and decay.

At some point, the entire Mafia’s amazing romance turns sour for Henry Hill, and the moment comes when he and Jimmy and Tommy have to bury a man whom Tommy has

First, they have to finish killing her (they stop at Tommy’s mother’s house to borrow a knife, and she feeds them dinner), then they bury her, then later they have to dig her again. Does matter. Worst of all, their victim was a “made up” man, a mafia who is believed to be immune. So they are in deep, deep trouble, and it is not that Henry Hill thought it was going to happen when he set out on his life’s journey.

From the first shot of his first feature, “Who’s Knocking at My Door?” (1967), Scorsese loved using popular music for dramatic moments in his films. He does not simply compile the soundtrack of golden oldies; He finds the precise voice to underline every moment, and in “Goodfellas”, popular music helps explain the transition from the early days when Henry sells stolen cigarettes to people at a factory gate, later days When selling cocaine.

The disregard of Paul Cicero’s orders and his own use of it so much that life has become a handicap.

In all of his work, which included arguably the best films of the 1970s (“Taxi Driver”) and the 1980s (“Raging Bull”), Scorsese has done more compelling work to ever get inside someone’s head. Has not done as he does. One of the closing passages of “Goodfellas”, in which he follows a day in the life of Henry Hill as he tries to make a cocaine deal, cook dinner for his family, offer his mistress and Deals with the suspicion that follows.

This is the sequence that struck me so deeply with the mood of the film. This is not a simple story, and has nothing to do with the plot; It is about the feeling of closing the walls and feeling guilty that the walls are entitled. Counter-protest is a sense of duty, of compulsion; The drug deal must be done, but the baby brother must also be picked up, and the sauce must be shaken, and meanwhile, Henry’s life is getting wildly out of control.

Actors have a way of doing their best work – work that lets us see them clearly – in a Scorsese film. Robert De Niro emerged as the best actor of his generation in “Taxi Driver”.

Pesci, who played De Niro’s brother in “Raging Bull”, demonstrated comparable complexity. Both De Niro and Pesky are here in “Goodfellas”, essentially playing lead and very challenging supporting roles for Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco, establishing themselves as two of our best new film actors here we do.

Liotta was Melanie Griffith’s late-arriving, disturbingly dangerous husband in “Something Wild” and here he forms the emotional center for a film that is not about the experience of being a mafiosos, but about emotion.

Brocco was the wife of the police in the suburban area in a film in which her scenes were so effective that it was with real harm that we returned to the main story. Her wedding spirit is at the heart of this film, especially in a shot where she clings to it, gets tired. He has made his life-long commitment, and it was for the wrong life.

Many of Scorsese’s best films are poems of guilt.

Think of “Mean Streets”, when the Harvey Keitel character tortured by his sexual cravings or with “After Hours”, an accidental death with the Griffin Dunne character and eventually being hunted on the streets by a wrong mob, Or “think” Christ’s final temptation, “in which even Christ is allowed to doubt.

“GoodFellas” is about crime more than anything. But it is not a straightforward morality game, in which good is established and crime is the appropriate response to evil. No, the protagonist of this film pleads guilty for not keeping the mafia code – guilty of the sin of betrayal. And his punishment is the witness, in the witness protection program, where no one is named and the headwaters certainly do not know it.

What I finally found after watching this film – it is a great film – is I understand Henry Hill’s feelings. Just as his wife Karen Mafia’s inner life was fully ingrained in her own values, the film weaved a seductive spell. Sometimes it is almost possible to think about the characters, as are the really good followers.

Their strength is so strong, their loyalty is so unquestionable. But at times the laughter becomes tense and forced, and sometimes it is an attempt to enjoy the party, and eventually, the whole legend crashes, and then closely understands the Catholic like crime – real crime, guilt. Are – not that they spoke sinful, but they want to do them again.

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