zaterdag 11 april 2009
Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in America did for the gangster movies what Once Upon a Time in the West did for the Western: an epic story where the division between good and bad is not always clear, and where all the typical story lines (critics will call them "clichés" are put together. Corruption, prostitution, prohibition, large sums of money, loyalty, honour, reveng and deceit, treason and bloody settlements.
Sergio Leone delivers with this movie (original title : C'era una volta in America) a long, multi-layered and sometimes a slightly too 'heavy' movie that gives the viewer value for money, even after all these years. It is also interesting to see that he used the Jewish community as background, as opposed to all the other movies that always stigmatize the Italian maffia.
The story resembles that of The Godfather, but from the point of view of a Jewish boy growing up in New York. The fascinating way with which Leone shows us the Big Apple in the 1930's is up there among the best and the movie is a feast for eyes and ears.
The director is Sergio Leone, famous for his spaghettiwesterns starring Clint Eastwood. And it is obvious that he is using his trademark style: slow story, many close-ups, tension, blood, Ennio Morricone and some truly memorable baddies.
If you like the Godfather, you will probably like this story. If you hated The Godfather, then this is not your kind of movie..