Gangs of New York (2002)
The prelude to Gangs of New York sees Liam Neeson and Daniel Day Lewis bring their warring factions together for a violent and dizzying hand to hand battle. It is pure Scorsese swagger, with the director at his most confident and ambitious. Tight, claustrophobic camerawork through the NY slums builds masterful tension before the epic set-piece sees the two sides collide in the grandiose Hollywood style of the silent era. The cinematography, use of colour and editing are all masterful and Scorsese’s recurring themes of violence and religion are all present and correct.
Pity then that the film cannot sustain its powerful of its early scenes over its long run time. There are many more highlights; Daniel Day Lewis is terrifying as Bill Cutter and there are several mesmerising scenes between him and Di Caprio. The production values are incredible and Scorsese is visually at the
top of his game. The large cast all put in great performances (even Cameron Diaz). Narrative issues plague the film. Rumour has it that Scorsese argued with the producers over the length of the film, with over an hour left on the cutting room floor. This explains why the first half of the film has room to build slow burning tension as DiCaprio infiltrates Bill Culters gang to enact revenge for his murdered father. The catharsis when Bill discovers the truth is electrifying (and violent of course) but the second half then feels rushed. The final set peice is therefore underwhelming, despite the enormous scale. The final confrontation between DiCaprio and
Lewis in particular, is rather rushed.
Films should be the length that they should be - Gangs of New fork should be a 4 how epic in the classic Hollywood style. Nevertheless, a wounded Scorsese film is still more than worth your time. #gangsofnewyork#scorsese#martinscorsese#danieldaylewis#leodicaprio#movie#movies#film#films#filmbuff#filmisnotdead#cinema#cinephile#hollywood#review#drama#epic#historical#actor#director#cinematography#producer#art