Based off of Nicholas Pileggi’s book, “Wiseguy,” Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film “Goodfellas” follows the life of an average boy, Henry Hill, who dreams of a little more excitement from life, so ends up secretly joining a gang and doing their dirty work until he is able to earn their trust and move up in ranking. It is quite impressive how many years he was able to keep up the act of participating in the mob activities without getting caught while also living a double life as an average family man. He successfully found and married a woman who was willing to stick with him even after she found out what he really does for a living and had kids with her. It was also pretty impressive how he managed to stay on everyone’s good side for so long and not get killed by any of the members.

One thing that struck me is that no matter what happened, somehow Hill was able to get away with a lot of things from robbing places, to injuring/killing people, and even cheating on his wife. It’s like this man was invincible. No one could touch him and somehow he always managed to ween his way out of trouble before anything serious could happen. But those are some of the privileges that come with being a part of the group that he was involved with.

Even though Hill was just as bad as the rest of them you can’t help but feel like there is still a good guy with a good heart deep down inside of him that it sometimes trying to scratch his way out and claim his presence. I feel that this shows every time Tommy either injures or kills someone. Hill always tries to step in and do whatever he can to prevent it from happening or at least prolong it, and every time an innocent person is hurt, he always steps in to help the person. Sure, he has made some bad decisions with the influence of this gang but I’m sure there is still the average Henry Hill from the beginning of the film still inside of him.

As far as the cinematography goes, there was one scene in particular where the camera goes through a bar and shows all of the members of the gang as the main character narrates the scene, describing who each person is. This was a really creative technique to use and I also thought it was funny how some of the guys acknowledge the fact that there was a camera on them, almost breaking that fourth wall. Then in a scene towards the end of the film when Hill actually did break the fourth wall in the court room scene. I was confused at first because it took me a while to realize that he was actually talking to the camera and not an actual person. But after I realized that he was addressing the audience I thought it was a really interesting and slightly humorous touch to the film.


2 thoughts on “Goodfellas

  1. I was also impressed with how long Henry survived. He didn’t even die at the end like most gangster films. Since gangster films involve a lot of violence and murders, the main characters typically have an ending with violence or death. But Henry escaped death, which made the movie more intriguing to watch. As you mentioned that Henry always escapes trouble, this made me upset at times. I did not like when he had mistresses and cheated on his wife. So many people knew of his encounters, and yet none of his friends told his wife because that is how loyal his friends were to him.

    I also agree that it caught me off guard at the end when Henry was talking to the audience. Because he didn’t do it at all throughout the whole film. I didn’t realize it was on purpose, but then it made me feel more connected to him because I had experienced his whole life with him and now he is safe from the gangster life.


  2. This movie threw me in for a ride as well. From how he got started in the group to, basically, having his own gang/drug cartel. YET STILL, he doesn’t get “whacked” but in the end avoids his demise by selling out the people that got him where he was (good or bad).

    My favorite scene was the wedding scene, where the narration was by his wife and she just kept going on and on about how many Tommy’s and Uncles and just being overwhelmed by his entire side of the wedding.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s