The Irishman is not your typical Mob film; but when you have Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel and director Martin Scorsese, then you have a must-see film. The film has it all, crime, the Mafia, politics, and history as it touches on Washington with the Kennedy election and assassination, the Bay of Pigs and Watergate.
The story unfolds as it is narrated by De Niro in his older years, sitting alone, in a wheelchair in an assisted living home. His eyes are cloudy, but his memory sharp as he relates his story to the audience in his quiet, deadpan way that belies his sociopathic behavior.
De Niro plays Frank Sheeran, a World War II vet who fights his way up through Italy. After the war he starts working as a truck driver for a meat company. Then, through a weird twist of fate, he becomes a hit-man for the mob, a union boss with the Teamsters and a close confidant and best friend of Jimmy Hoffa. In telling the story of Sheeran through the years he uses of multiple flashbacks and jumps in history. So, pay close attention to the time period.
De Niro’s character is a much more likable character than the real-life Sheeran, who is shown in the book “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt. In the book Sheeran comes across as a thug and a loudmouth. On the other hand, De Niro specializes in playing characters close to the vest, and he creates a different character than the one the book portrays.
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