Raging Bull Reviews
Emotionally shattering drama about prizefighter Jake La Motta, who fought no worse enemy than himself. He slowly destroys his life by obsessive jealously. No movie has ever captured anger or jealously so beautifully on screen; some movie buffs (myself included) consider this to be the greatest film ever made. Full-bore, non-stop compelling direction plays viewer's emotions like a harp, delivering one painful scene after another, with dazzling (though brutal) boxing sequences. Opening is hypnotic, finale is perhaps the most devastating moment on celluloid. Robert De Niro gives the most devoted performance in movie history (he gained 60 pounds for the role). This masterpiece was also stunningly photographed and edited for maximum impact. Final note: Scene with De Niro and Pesci arguing in front of a broken TV is the single greatest acted scene ever.
Masculinity is inherently dramatic due to its fundamentally flawed nature; it's built on a rejection of the other, primitivism, insecurity, and fragility. Watching these foundational elements seep through the cracks in its hardened outer shell of repressed human emotion and bravado will always be fascinating to watch on both a psychological and visceral level, particularly for American audiences for which masculinity forms the backbone of their societal ideology. Scorsese's Raging Bull, like his exemplary Taxi Driver, is about this masculinity that pervades every aspect of American life. His "heroes" are horrible, abusive people, ignorant and violent, and yet because they're so clearly trapped in the destructive cycle of their nation's misguided social structure we feel for them when they destroy themselves. Watching this evisceration of our elemental makeup is gloriously cinematic and timeless in its effect, Scorsese getting to the heart of what plagues society at large; in doing so, he has created a masterpiece.
It isperhaps the greatest film of its decade. The edition,the photography,the acting...my god!