When it comes to movies nothing tops the classics and there is no better classic than Martin Scorsece’s film “Goodfellas”. This movie combines great cinematography, wonderful use of music and amazing pacing that makes the two and half hours fly by like minutes. The movie also does a great job at conveying the themes of the story. These themes are portrayed by the framing of the shots and the evolution of the music throughout the movie. This evolving soundtrack starts by playing 1950’s duop tunes to show Henry Hill’s innocence and his glory days involved with the mob.Then during the middle of the movie when the characters are reaching their moral low point and losing their love for the mob the soundtrack changes to Atlantis by donovan. This isn’t known as a sad song but it is certainly a somber tone compared to the rest of the duop songs played at the beginning of the movie. Then towards the end of the movie the music changes to 70s and 80s heavy metal to represent Henry hill’s cocaine usage and fast paced lifestyle. Not only are these themes portrayed by music but the way the movie is shot as well. The movie starts off by using long takes to give the movie momentum and a sense of ease and then towards the end of the movie the cuts are a lot more frequent to represent the chaos and stress of Henry hill’s lifestyle. Colors are also a huge role in the progression of the story. It is basic film language that red symbolizes unfortunate events and lighter based colors like green represent innocence. Orange can also symbolize unfortunate events as well with one famous example being the orange crate being toppled over in the Godfather during the famous hit scene. However in Goodfellas this unfortunate event is when the crew digs up Billy Bat’s body to reburry it which is what eventually leads to their downfall. This scene is lit by the red headlights of a car and the lighting illuminates everybody in the crew so that their silhouettes are surrounded by red which could also be interpreted as the characters being consumed by evil. this wonderful shot is shown below.
Another reason Goodfellas is one of the best movies of all time is the way that it captures all of the time periods that is set in. It does this by great use of music again and the wonderful world building that was put into the movie. Small details like the way that the characters talk to the way they dress to the food they eat and the cars they drive. There are too many small details in the world building to comprehend and this world building is what gives the movie such an authentic and lived in feel.These main pillars are the core of what makes this movie such a beautiful piece of art that has influenced countless other filmmakers to this day. I highly recommend that if you haven’t seen this movie before give it a watch and you will surely be pleased