Directed by the Scorsese, Goodfellas is the film which truly deserves to have the title of masterpiece. This film was based on the book “Wiseguy” written by Nicholas Pileggi from the true-life story. It lights up the real situation in the New York full of crime showing the criminal from inside. The movie presents the story of one young man who has the goal in his life to become a gangster. Being a mobster means being a part of the criminal organization.
Scorsese knew his viewers largely as the common people who meet the crime from time to time but don’t even suspect how structural it can be organized. A criminal organization is a community of mobsters, and each of them has their task to complete. Typically for any organization, they have one person whom all of them obedient. It looks a lot like a family, though a family without the sincere relationship. Everybody knows his job and isn’t allowed to know the other’s occupation.
There is no place for genuineness and honesty; the only way to be in safe is to know the least you could know. In the movie, a criminal organization provides the witness protection for those, who aren’t able to apply to cobs.
Criminality is pictured in the film with all its authentic violence and cruelty. The movie wasn’t created as a whole scene of violence like others gangster’s films. However, Scorsese hadn’t intended to hide something or find excuses for the offense. In a masterly way, he pictured the mobsters’ feelings and their mental state while committing the crime. For example, we can see Tommy’s reaction to the comments about his previous life. It seems like he has an eternally blazing flame inside and every little wrong moving from others wakes the terrific monster in him. The violence is the only way for him to react to insulting and he doesn’t know any stops or hesitations.
In spite of belonging to the same organization, the gangster Henry Hill acts rather differently. We can observe the scene when Henry and Karen were talking about the incident where the old friend assaulted her. Henry’s behavior is weight and determined. Surprisingly, the mobster causes the sense of sympathy among the viewers, and they realize that exculpate Henry.
So why did they become gangsters? The main character stated it was his dream as far as he could remember; nobody forced him; he was confident in his goal. Throughout the film, we can examine the influence of the surroundings on people; Goodfellas lived by rules they’ve learned in the early years. In other words, their mind couldn’t give them a different picture of the world; it expresses only what it is received. Psychologically, every behavior has its cause and the way people act was created by the number of situations they experienced before. This statement is particularly concerned with the children’s experiences. The scenes of murder and violence from childhood affect the person’s character and dictate his conduct. We can easily trace it in Henry’s life.
The other aspect is the phenomenon of conformity. The person can change his behavior in order to coordinate with the others. The truth is, we always reflect the atmosphere we are in. So did Henry Hill, Tommy, and all of their colleagues.
Criminals are stupefied by the money and power they have. Their irresistible willing to have more and more leads to the violence. They struggle to get more money even if they already have enough; they need to receive more respect from others and have more power to influence them.
As we mentioned before, it was Henry’s cherished dream to become a gangster; he lived the life he’d consciously chosen. However, this life was rather different from that, he had imagined before; in fact, being the part of the mafia wasn’t as good as he could think. One of the factors that fascinate Henry in criminal membership is the excitement he gets from doing his job. Henry was attracted by easy money the mobsters could get, but he hadn’t an addiction to killing all the people he met on his way. If we are watching the film carefully, we can notice his silence when Tommy had killed Batts after silly arguing. In the film, Henry stated that for others gangsters to kill became a habit; but he can’t accept such strategy. He differs from the others and doesn’t fit in the mafia like this. He will never be able to become a “made man” and the main rule “never rat your friends” doesn’t appeal to him. Among the others characters, Henry Hill deserves the most sympathy from the viewers.
For most viewers, the meaning of robbers is connected with cellar and darkness; but Scorsese places his characters in real life. They have families; they celebrate anniversaries and holidays; they have days out which they spend with their friends. These people get everything the others can achieve wasting their time at work. Members of the criminal organization live in the beautiful houses with nice furniture and have full wardrobes of clothes. They try to act like usual people, but the problem is they aren’t common people; Scorsese wanted to show that gangsters aren’t as far from us as we can realize. They can be very close and just pretend to be normal people.
However, this simulated life doesn’t make happy any of the mobsters. They live in constant fear. They comprehend that might be killed at any time or sent to the prison for their behavior. As they have families, there is a need to provide them, and they always think about it. The fear is a part of their life, and they aren’t able to get rid of it. There is no doubt, the criminal can always remember that they are in danger.
As we can see, the movie Goodfellas in a master way recovered the dark sides of the world organized by criminals.
Scorsese doesn’t show the gangsters as rejected part of the society. He pictures them as real people in real life and tries to explain all the feelings they experienced.
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