Gangs Of New York

Liam fights for the Irish.

Gangs of New York
(2002)

Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Liam Neeson

Rating: ******
              4/6

In the 19th C
By the sea
New York was rife with
Unpleasantries.

Daniel fights for the Natives.

Gangs of meanies,
Most unseemly,
Fought by sword and club
For territory.

The Irishmen
From the famine
Were led by fearsome
Liam Neeson.

DiCaprio as a young boy.

The Native souls,
Born on U.S. soil,
Led by Daniel Day-Lewis
Wanted the spoils.

They had a toss,
The Irish lost,
And Liam’s gravestone
Gained a cross.

Liam’s life gets Taken.

Liam’s son,
Instead of fun,
Went to the Orphanage,
Which he hated a ton.

To move the show,
The kid had to go
And he grew up into
DiCaprio.

Leo as a young man.

DiCaprio, free,
Joined a den of thieves,
And learned to pay
The Butcher’s fee.

The Butcher, at work,
Was a bit of a crook,
And he crowned himself
The King of New York.

The Butcher rules New York.

Day-Lewis played him,
The crime kingpin,
With a top hat and moustache
And menacing grin.

He found that he liked
DiCaprio’s bite
And took him under
His wing a mite,

Cameron Diaz as a pickpocket.

But Leo was bothered.
Indeed, he was, rather,
Since the mean old Butcher
Had cut down his father,

So he waits for the day
That he’ll make him pay,
And he hopes that it isn’t
Too far away.

Leo, looking up.

Now to switch this thought
And get away from the plot,
I’ll explain the atmosphere with which
This movie is fraught.

The director’s Scorsese.
(He directed Joe Pesci),
So, of course you can expect
This film to get messy.

The Butcher teaches Leo to carve meat.

The opening battle,
With its thwacks and its paddles
Was violent enough that some
Folks might skedaddle.

Marty shows us a world
That’s out of this world,
Like a newly imagined,
Impossible world.

New York City was a very different-looking place.

We see a violent place,
A dirty place,
In a familiar-named yet
Quite alien place.

We cannot recognize
In scope or in size
This strange New York City
Filled with many strange lives.

The firemen arrive to beat each other senseless.

It has the gall
To be as fantastical
As Hogwarts or Thunderdome,
After Mankind’s fall.

Pickpockets, beggars,
Ham and Eggers,
The poor and the rich folk,
The Eeyores and Tiggers,

The politician looks for votes.

We see them sleep and play,
And their day to day.
We see new arrivals,
And some going away.

It’s not just the story.
(If I’m wrong, I’m sorry)
But the whole presentation
Adds another storey.

It gets a four out of six,
For it took a big risk,
But if you’re hoping for Goodfellas,
You’ll feel there’s something amiss.

Leo gets tortured.

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