The characters in Goodfellas and The Godfather are poles apart. While the Mafia in The Godfather emanate nobility, honour and justice, the Mafia in Goodfellas are devoid of even a tinge of morality. Watching Goodfellas reminded me more of Se7en than anything else where the city was always dark and it was always raining. Here however, the characters themselves fill the void of darkness. They are the living scum on Earth.
There is a story in Skyfall about rats. So, if a lot of rats are locked in a cage, the eventually start eating each other till the point only two are left. However, these two rats now only eat rats. Scorsese elaborately creates a terrifying cage and inhibits them with his rats, the gangsters and eventually gets them in a spree of killing each other.
Scorsese as many of you may know is a staunch devout Catholic and many of his movies have examined the devil within us. He has often made a point to study how devil works his way through us and that is where Karen Hill comes in, the most important character in the movie I say. James Allen once said ‘Circumstances do not change a person. It only reveals him to himself‘. The focus he gives on her is a masterstroke and nothing less. In a movie where every one is a scum, there is dire need to know why they are the scum and Scorsese explains it through Karen, an innocent beautiful girl who gets turned on when a blood soaked loaded revolver is handed to her.
There is a scene between Henry (Ray Liotta) and Tommy (Joe Pesci) which elevates from laughter to pure horror. It terrified me. And that’s where I understood. This is what the wiseguys must feel like every second of their life. Always looking over their shoulders when they get out of their houses, talking in public phones because the private lines may be tapped, God ! Imagine living every second of your life in fear. I imagined at the end of Goodfellas, I would end up despising the wiseguys. But all I could do, was feel pity for them. They were just a scared lot of nobodys. I only felt sympathy for them.
RATING :- 9.4 / 10
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