Once Upon a Time in America Reviews
Lasting 251-minute long, which probably scares out of some audience from the very beginning in that regard. But just like tasting a bottle of liquor that has been preserved for decades, sipping it goes a longer way than normally drinking it. Begin with a scene in a small hotel, A wedge shaped like a human, a hooker shot by some gangsters who tried to pry into some information about someone else from her mouth but failed, you probably already got confused, this is exactly the best part of this film. The director, Sergio Leone, known as the trailblazer of horse opera, somehow did not follow the drills which he used to shot Once Upon A Time in the West: follow the timeline. The whole movie was cut into pieces, which is not a typical narration kind, he stuck oodles into the film, on top of which made spectators feel that not only one thing being told through the whole movie, The truth is, on the contrary, all clues lead to the leading role: Noodles, who was always loyal to his friend, at least the way he judged whoever as his pal, and was always loyal to his beloved girl, at last got screwed by all of them. He stuck to his own principles, which made him live and get away clean, but also drove him to poorer and sad.
Noodles, grow up in Brooklyn in 1900s, had not ever count on some love from parents, he had no aspiration, only concentrated on some unprofessional gangster activities which are the usual routines of mobs: collecting protection fees, smashing the part of one shop if the owner of it refuse to pay, and of course, hiding in a toilet to peeped the silhouette of that girl whom he yearned for, day in and day out, something like that. At that point, Max, a guy who almost changed the whole life of Noodles, showed up for the first time in front of Brooklyn Bridge, the landmark of New York city, where the childhood memory was left forever, also can be considered the great symbol of that real friendship of these "little goodfellas". Max is by no means a guy who always wanted to be a street mob, he had his own plan for his life, a selfish but fantastic dream, which came true from the mid-part of this movie: running a casino, flirting with some politicians and successfully grabbed them in his palm, betraying all his partners in order to control the whole kingdom made by them, to name a few, which he did great, leaving noodles regret for Max' death (false one) given the phone call to the police intrigued by Max. Noodles, still chose to hold faith to that dead body was Max for mathematical certainty, or maybe it was just his way to mourn the long gone friendship. Deborah, Noodles' s beloved girl, as it was mentioned before, gave up her love for her own business, married Max and even born him a son, all of which later on are found by Noodles but what can he do except accepting it and burring inside his heart. This is how the whole society works, some people are always for powers while others trust friendship and love, it is just a matter of our own choice. Neither way did pan out till the last, but I really can not figure out what was the right thing to do, just like the title, maybe it is to certain extent a "once upon a time" in America.
Our emotion is successfully influenced by that bravo background music, one theme can be made into different tunes, seamlessly matches the upcoming events as well as what we are watching. Life is a melody, up and down, vicissitudes always exist, just like we all have our past, our story, like this one, as it happened in America, from pre Word War 2 to abolish of 18th amendment.
By the way, those executives of Warner Bros. Pictures must regret for what they did to the movie back then, if some of them still are in charge, for sure.