The greatest Gangster film that I have seen, it does something that even The Godfather, did not do.
Here is a film on organised crime that is having a voice over of it's protagonist for good amount of time and it makes the film all the more interesting. I love many shots in the film, like the conversation shots between Paulie and Henry, or the way jokes of Joe Pesci are captured or even the murders. Damn, this is all very realistic and it's admirable to have achieved it this way. Indeed at times it plays like a documentary unlike a fiction film. Also, the film is told in first person not only by Henry but also by his wife Karen. Damn, it makes the film relatable and real.
The performances are superb, each detail, each nuance is done well, nothing seems out of place, a jaw dropping murder of rib tickling joke, all seem so natural in emotions here. Joe Pesci gets out some wonderful lines. Robert DeNiro is extremely cold blooded as Jimmy. Paul Sorvino as Paulie is authoritative. Loranne Bracco as Karen is loving. Ray Liotta as Henry is infectious and fragile. There is a host of other characters that are wonderful too.
We must understand that these characters actually existed in reality and from their interviews was the book, Wise Gy written by Nicolas Pilleggi. GoodFellas was based on this book only. Scorsese is indeed the most interesting director of our times, who takes varied themes and puts it all in the pan and cooks it so well that the dish surely tastes delicious.
To showcase power, he takes an interesting point where Henry takes his Karen into a restaurant by surpassing the crowd, going through the backdoor and a table is literally lifted and placed for them. To showcase guilt, Scorsese uses conversation between Jimmy and Henry. To showcase crime, he shows us just a few gunshots and how emotionless the killer is. Damn, all this makes it such interesting and a fun film. The camera movement is adept and so is the cinematographer. But to dive the camera and the cameraman, the director is needed. Scorsese precisely is such director.
This is not actually a Gangster film, I will rather call it as a film that is made on Organised Crime in a throughly interesting way and with eccentric and interesting characters. Of course, the cast does get all the chords right and takes the characters into a new level.
It is indeed long with a length of 140 minutes, but it's an easy film for a movie buff. But for the non-aficionados the characters names and the length may take a toll. But I will say, most film-goers have considered this a good film as per ratings all over, thus even the claim that it is lengthy can be cut off.
I am giving 5/5 for this wonderful film, that is self indulgent at times, but the best part is that it indulges you as viewer. Kudos to the master Scorsese for this.