Movie Review: Lansky 2021
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
As I sat down to watch “Lansky,” directed by Eytan Rockaway, I entered a world filled with intrigue and moral ambiguity. This gripping biographical drama delivers a powerful narrative that explores the life of one of America’s most notorious gangsters, Meyer Lansky. From its compelling plot to its stellar performances, “Lansky” will leave you captivated until the very end.
The film takes us on a journey through multiple timelines, flawlessly interweaving Lansky’s younger days as an up-and-coming mobster with his twilight years spent in hiding. The non-linear storytelling adds depth and complexity to the character, enabling us to witness both the ruthless criminal mastermind and the regretful old man seeking redemption.
Harvey Keitel delivers an exceptional portrayal of Meyer Lansky. His performance is nuanced, displaying both the menacing charisma that made Lansky feared among his peers and glimpses of vulnerability that humanize this larger-than-life figure. Keitel effortlessly captures Lansky’s internal struggle between power and morality, painting him as more than just a two-dimensional villain.
The supporting cast also shines brightly in their roles. Sam Worthington impresses as David Stone, an aspiring journalist determined to unveil the truth about Meyer Lansky’s past crimes. His tenaciousness adds another layer of tension as he delves deeper into a world where no one can be fully trusted. John Magaro is equally captivating as young Meyer Lansky, skillfully depicting his rise within organized crime alongside lifelong friend Charlie ‘Lucky’ Luciano (played by Minka Kelly).
Director Eytan Rockaway demonstrates great finesse in capturing both the dark underbelly of New York City during its Prohibition era and contemporary Miami Beach through stunning cinematography choices. The stark difference in visuals effectively highlights the contrasting stages of Lansky’s life, showcasing the character’s evolution from a young immigrant to a grizzled elder.
The score, composed by Max Aruj and Steffen Thum, amplifies the film’s emotional impact. It subtly blends classical elements with modern undertones, reflecting Lansky’s complex nature and internal conflicts. From haunting melodies to thrilling crescendos, the music enhances every scene without overpowering it.
Production design deserves special mention as well. The attention to detail in recreating both eras is impeccable — from lavish ballrooms dripping with opulence to gritty back alleys steeped in danger. This meticulousness immerses viewers in a world ravaged by crime and corruption.
While “Lansky” excels on many fronts, it does suffer from occasional pacing issues that detract from its overall impact. Certain scenes feel drawn out, delaying crucial plot developments and testing viewers’ patience. Additionally, the dialogue could have been sharper at times to better reflect the intensity of certain situations.
What truly resonated with me about “Lansky” was its exploration of remorse and redemption. This film delves deep into Lansky’s psyche as he grapples with guilt over his past actions and strives for forgiveness before it is too late. It serves as a poignant reminder that even those who walk dark paths can find redemption if they possess enough courage to confront their own demons.
In conclusion, “Lansky” is an enthralling biographical drama that leaves a lasting impression on its audience through outstanding performances, superb direction, mesmerizing visuals, and an evocative score. While it has some minor flaws in pacing and dialogue execution, it successfully delves into themes of morality and redemption that resonate long after leaving the theater or turning off your TV screen.
Release : 2021-06-24
Genre : Crime, Drama, Thriller
Runtime : 119
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Company : Above the Clouds Media Group, CaliWood Pictures, 120dB Films
Cast : Harvey Keitel as Meyer Lansky, Sam Worthington as David Stone, John Magaro as Young Meyer Lansky, Minka Kelly as Maureen Duffy, David James Elliott as Frank Rivers
Lansky | Official Trailer (HD) | Vertical Entertainment official trailer