Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gangs of New York (2002)

Stars : Leonardo DiCaprio ,Daniel Day Lewis,Cameron Diaz.

Director : Martin Scorsese.

When ever I watch a Martin Scorsese movie one thing that I am always sure of is that the movie will be a classic.I am a huge fan of Martin's movies so for me "Gangs of New York" was no different.

The movie starts with a street gang fight at Paradise Square between a native group headed by Bill "the Butcher" and Irish immigrant group "Dead Rabbits" headed by Priest Vallon .The fight ends when Bill kills the Priest ,he declares that "Dead Rabbits" are outlawed and the Priest will be buried with honor.The Priest's son Amsterdam is caught by Bill's men and send to HellGate for studies but before being caught he is able to take the knife with which Bill killed his father and hides it.The story moves ahead and is now set in the 1860's .Amsterdam returns to New York and is able to get into the inner circles of Bill.The story of Amsterdam's revenge and resurgence of the "Dead Rabbits " in the year of "New York City Draft Riots of 1863" is the rest of of the movie.

Performances in Martin Scorsese movie are always above par.There are always characters which just remain in your memories for very long.In "Gangs of New York" Bill "the Butcher" Cutting is one such character.Daniel Day-Lewis' meticulous performance as Bill is one of the highlights of the movie.There is a certain degree of rawness to the character of Bill and the way Daniel brings it up is simply magnificent.DiCaprio as Amsterdam is good too ,he shows the characters charm while still keeping that fire which is evidently visible .This movie really showed his potential.As his character evolves in the second half so does the performance of DiCaprio.Cameron Diaz was ok with her rather important but small role.The supporting cast is good as well.The standouts from the supporting team for me were Jim Broadbent as Tweed the Boss and a corrupt politician trying to take advantage of the situation between the natives and the immigrants.Brendan Gleeson as the monk ,a barber who worked as a mercenary for Priest Vallon in the Battle of the Five Points.He brings character ruthlessness very well on the screen ,I have seen him in such roles before but he looked more convincing this time.

The biggest asset for the movie apart from Daniel is the set up .The sets of the movie do gives an authentic look and I can imagine that actually it might have looked the same at that time.The direction of Martin Scorsese is undoubtly briliant as well.He treats his charaters with utmost precision and the scene at the celebrations of Five Points battle is a fine example of that.The movie needed high energy from teh actors and teh director and I could actually feel that energy while watching the movie.There were so many instances of brilliance in the movie thats it hard to put them all here.

The movie is power packed 2 hrs 39 minutes drama complete with brilliant performances ,excellent production design and a very tight script. The duration is long but the performances compensate for the same.The movie has a powerful impact right from the begining that stays till the end.

Plus : Daniel Day Lewis,he will just blow your brains away with his performance.A tight script and a brilliant overall feel to the movie.

Minus : The climax could have been a bit better.

Rating :8.5/10

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