Saturday, 8 September 2012

Mini-Review: Donnie Brasco

A mafia movie starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp based on a true story that takes place in the 70s complete with gritty characters and classic music. Now that’s a recipe for a great movie.

Undercover FBI agent Joseph Pistone is tasked with infiltrating the Bonanno Crime family in New York City during the 1970s whilst using the name Donnie Brasco. As Pistone becomes more and more involved in the family’s affairs he struggles to retain his integrity as an FBI agent whilst posing as a criminal, knowing all the while that the slightest mistake could blow his cover and put himself and his family in serious danger.

‘Donnie Brasco’ is one of the better mafia movies around; this is primarily due to its excellent script and sensational acting leads. Since the film is based on a true story it becomes all the more gripping and engrossing, this form of hyperrealism in a gangster movie had only been seen before in ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Donnie Brasco’ equals Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece in every way.

Pacino demonstrates his masterful skill in acting as he switches up the audience’s perception of his stereotypical role. Rather than playing a high-ranking mobster Pacino instead plays the low level member of the family named Lefty. Playing this character grants Pacino the opportunity to play someone who is not holding all the cards and in control, but rather as his character states “simply a spoke on the wheel”. His work as Lefty is magnificent and the vulnerability Pacino adds to the role takes the viewer on  a journey to feel the same emotional connection for the mobster that Johnny Depp’s character goes through.

‘Donnie Brasco’ is one of the classics of the genre and one thing is for certain, don’t “Forget about it”.

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