Martin Scorsese‘s long awaited passion project The Irishman releases in theaters and on Netflix later this year. The Irishman marks the ninth collaboration between one of Hollywood’s greatest duos, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro.
The trailer for The Irishman has just dropped and has stirred up more excitement than any trailer has in a long time. For reasons obvious. The Irishman is not just a film. It is a dream come true. Why, you ask? Well, here are a few words that might make you understand – Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in a gangster movie directed by Martin Scorsese. If you are not sold on that, nothing else can convince you.
Watch the trailer here:
First frame, look at the detailed world-building. The trailer starts and as soon as it does you know that you won’t be having any complaints regarding the atmosphere. The subtle touch on the sound effects is genius. When you first watch the trailer, you won’t know why but you will feel that something is off. After watching it a couple of times, you will easily get it. The noise of the city has been completely muted. And although you are shown a busy street, the only sound guiding you is that of the phone call. This superimposition of unrelated elements breaks the monotone and immediately grabs our attention. A great audio-visual trick that many trailers before have tried to pull off but not with such expertise.
Then you get the first kicker – the voice of the Joe Pesci. Him saying “Hello” and the rattle-snake inspired thrill music just after did send chills down my spine. Then he goes on to hand the phone to a man – De Niro. And guess who’s on the other side – the Al Pacino. The conversation between Frank (De Niro) and Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino) begins. There is a huge contrast in the introduction of both the characters. The contrasting aspect is very easy to miss. First off, Frank does not introduce himself. He is introduced to us by Hoffa.
Then Hoffa introduces himself and the screen cuts to what seems to be his election campaign entourage. From this simple yet deep difference, we can deduce that Frank is a man of a few words. He is one who tries to keep his secrets and his life to himself. On the other hand, Hoffa is quite a talkative man. He has to provide an image to the public and it seems like he loves to listen to the sound of his own voice.
The next two scenes are all about the power and influence that Hoffa commands. And what a delicate yet effective way to show that. No annoying expositionary dialogues are used, no one narrates his might into existence. The visual tone is enough to tell us that Jimmy Hoffa means business. The part where he talks about his friends shows their grandeur as well. The trailer is able to portray, with ease, the many dimensions of the men who are on screen just with their presence. The credit goes to both the director and the actors for pulling off this amazing feat.
The next scene is a bit puzzling as it seems like a massive plot point. They took the enigmatic approach here by showing us an element that we are not familiar with whatsoever. All we are told is that only two men wear those and one of them is Irish. The significance of the two men, the power or importance of the rings, and the curious focus on the fact that one of them is Irish, all remain unexplored. It is as if the trailer is teasing you to just go and watch the movie if you want to know more. And we all know that all of us will fall prey to this and come out satisfied as hell.
After this, the trailer completely changes the mood from sombre depictions to intense violence and action. De Niro just shoots a guy and throws him through a glass window. And then shoots him again. The action is well-directed and looks crisp. I am really happy about that fact because I was a bit sceptical about the old man breaking a leg to compete with something like John Wick. It is reassuring that they did not go down that route and stayed loyal to the things we actually love about this genre.
Then, we witness another side to the life of our speculated contract killer – his family. It is a small but powerful scene in which his daughter stops him before he leaves and asks him where he is going. His reply, “To work” cements him as a character who can never be separated from the world of crime and murder. That job he is talking about is in his very being and rules the blood in his veins. The next few scenes are about illegal weapon shipments, largescale underground trades, huge political press conferences – in short; the scenes are about the big players, the people pulling the strings or perhaps fighting for control.
Then comes another kicker – Kennedy. Kennedy’s death appears to be a huge turning point for both the movie and the trailer. And those of you who are well-acquainted with American history would have seen this one coming from a mile away when you heard the name, Jimmy Hoffa. I shall not divulge any more info regarding that as it may be detrimental to your viewing experience.
The trailer tells us that the movie will span decades. It will delve deep into this forgotten and eternally unsolved historical mystery – the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. While doing so, the trailer provides us with a glimpse of the post-war American crime syndicate. I am sure that the movie will elaborate upon the inner workings of underground figures, alliances, rivalries and organized crime.
Over the years, the movie had gone through some financial, developmental and technological bumps. But the trailer out yesterday confirms it looks set to finally release this year. Details have been scarce with the makers keeping the cards close to their chests. The films stars some legends of the industry.
The trailer has got me plenty excited for the film. Frankly, this was one of the best-made trailers I have seen in recent times. The care that was taken in its creation, the love that was poured in and the passion that drives it, all shows clearly through a trailer that does its job perfectly while displaying the strengths of both the legendary director and the legendary actors. I can’t wait to watch it this fall. What about you?
Apart from the trailer, here’s what we know so far.
What’s the movie about?
Based on I Heard You Paint Houses, the biography of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran by Charles Brandt, The Irishman tells the story of mafia hitman Sheeran and his relationship to, and possible murder of, Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa. That story still remains one of the most controversial and famous stories regarding organized crime. The case remains unsolved to this day.
A World War Two veteran, Sheeran first met Hoffa while both men were in their thirties, and apparently a huge chunk of the film’s budget is going towards the CGI to make respective actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino look younger for the biopic’s various lengthy flashbacks to 1959. Of late, there have been issues regarding the de-aging process, especially for De Niro, which owes to the movie’s release delay.
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Isn’t the movie a bit of a risk?
Scorsese has hoped to make The Irishman since 2008, so this is a bit of a passion project for him. He has also stated that the film would be a bit of a risk. In a recent interview, he said, “People such as Netflix are taking risks. The Irishman is a risky film. No one else wanted to fund the pic for five to seven years. And of course we’re all getting older. Netflix took the risk.”
The budget is reported to be nearly $200 million, due to the production’s use of the de-aging effects for all the ageing actors to make them look younger. Paramount and Fábrica de Cine decided to back out of the project, less than a year after agreeing to it, due to the extremely high budget.
Thankfully, Netflix stepped in, and the project kept on going.
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Who’re the cast and crew?
The cast is packed with Hollywood legends, most of whom Scorsese had already worked with. You know he’s going all out when he brings his old team back.
In the upcoming film, Al Pacino plays Union leader Jimmy Hoffa and Robert De Niro plays his friend and alleged killer Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran, while Harvey Keitel and Joe Pesci play bosses of rival East Coast crime families. Four names enough to switch on your TV and rewatch all the Scorsese classics.
Along with these four kingpins, the film will also feature Oscar winner Anna Paquin (True Blood), two-time Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire), two-time Emmy nominee Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights), and Emmy-winner Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond).
So in total, that’s 19 Oscar, 35 Golden Globe, and 27 Emmy nominations, and five Oscars, five Golden Globes, and seven Emmys won. Sun’s out, guns out.
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When will it release?
Netflix has kept the release date and other details under wraps, with De Niro and Scorsese expressing their desires to have a theatrical run before releasing it on the streaming service.
As of now, no one knows when the film will be released. But The Irishman is most likely to get a big release towards the end of this year with a digital release on Netflix a few weeks after.
Watch this space for more updates on The Irishman.
By Aditya Sarma, Deepjyoti Roy
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Scorsese is a master of his craft. Can barely wait to watch this one…