44. "I thought it was a stark contrast to Goodfellas/Casino" In response to In response to 33 Tue Dec-03-19 03:29 PM by The Analyst
A conscious effort is made to remove the thrills, the "romanticism," the intoxicating stylistic flourishes of the 90s movies. This is a bleak look at the moral rot at the heart of these organizations and how these people can't and won't be spiritually redeemed.
Scorsese and the actors are obviously very self-aware of their legacies within the genre and all appear to be intentionally in conversation with those movies and their past contributions. The entire thing plays almost like a counterpoint to them. Whereas in Goodfellas you get the jovial scene going around the room while every gangster introduces himself, here everyone is introduced with a sour note about the manner in which they were unceremoniously killed (often pathetically).
Think of the scene where De Niro kicks the store owner's ass. The camera just sits there, still, observing in an unbroken wide shot. In Goodfellas, the violence would have been visceral. It was almost erotic when Henry Hill kicked Karen's boyfriend's ass (she wad admittedly turned on by it). Here, De Niro's daughter is horrified; the violence is presented as it is, unadorned.
On the surface it obviously has similarities with Scorsese's previous rganized crime movies, but it's a more sober, deeper variation on those themes and and an attempt to take them to their logical extreme. This will most likely be viewed by history as one of his more major works.