Earlier tonight, and once again thanks to the joys of dvdsontap, PY and I watched Martin Scorsese’s 19th century epic, Gangs of New York on DVD. Apparently, Daniel Day-Lewis came out of a kind of retirement to film it.
The film tells us America was not quite the happy melting-pot of modern thinking. It’s an interesting mix of epic cinema and predicable story as DiCaprio looks to avenge his father’s death and falls for Cameron Diaz in the process, while all around the poor (literally) fight for survival against the corruption of the power holders. The sights of the coffins brought back from the Civil War remind us of another part of America’s past. If the movie is to be believed, Irish immigrants were marched off one ship to another where they acquire uniforms and the promise of ‘three meals a day’ on their way to a death further south.
Gangs of New York looks stunning but fails to deliver. Day-Lewis has a Munchausen moustache which is more absurd in pictures than it is in character, but still provides an amusing diversion. The movie is long, but apparently not as long as it was meant to be. A difficult film to decide upon.