Movie Review – Raging Bull

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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I consider it an absolute privilege to write about this movie which is at the top of my all time favorites list. It was during my 5th semester, a week before 4th semester results came in. I watched this gem of a movie and Taxi Driver on subsequent days in my never lit room. That’s when my whole idea of film viewing changed. I started to watch all those classics, some never known films. I gathered courage to defend films which I liked and only I did. Even though so many movies have surpassed these two and went to top it’s to Scorsese and De Niro I bow with gratitude for bringing an artist in me.


I watched this movie for the second time as a second movie in Scorsese Night. Needless to say I was spellbound. De Niro. Man! What a performance. No movie has this much character depth. There is a disadvantage in calling a great movie great. Many would say that one is going with the crowd. But I’d rather hurt my ego and say this is one of the best movies ever made and one of the finest performances I had ever seen on screen.

De Niro carries the whole movie on his shoulders. It’s tough to decide between De Niro and Scorsese as to who’s the best. We see a guy who has spoilt his entire life and there is someone behind the camera who has made it look so real. There is no clear cut way of defining Jake LaMotta’s (De Niro) character. He is an individual who wants to be on top of everything. He wants a wife who is beautiful than anyone else. He gets one too but doesn’t have sex with her before match because that will spoil his chances against his rival. But he goes on stage and loses the match and comes out saying that the rival was bum so there is no point in winning.

Why is he like this? Because that’s how he is. This simple answer is never given in any of the movies. See Scorsese’s Crime saga. Goodfellas, Casino, Departed etc. Everything has a similar style but no one has complained about it. Why so? Because that’s how he makes movies.

The closest one could come to understanding LaMotta is his brother Joey (Joe Pesci). But even he couldn’t take it no longer when he accuses him of sleeping with his wife. But what would a poor soul like LaMotta do? He thinks he’s very sure of what he’s doing but all he does is incur the wrath of everyone around him. Even when he becomes a comedian everything he says on stage and to the guests is truth. The guests think that he’s sarcastic and take it on a lighter note. He has always lived life in a way he knows.

His life can be considered a failure seeing from a distance. May be he could have been a bit more focused and less arrogant so that he could have had a prosperous or in fact happy life but he’s Jake LaMotta we wouldn’t have been talking about him if he had been someone else. We talk about him because he’s he. And that’s it. 

This is Joe Pesci’s second major film for which he got many accolades. Only then people didn’t know it’s just the beginning. The chair breaking scene after fight showing off his anger was a treat to watch. The funniest scene in the movie according to me. Coming close second to it is the scene where La Motta walks from car to swimming pool thinking that he’s very hep. Vickie falls for it but hides to control her laughter in those few glances. He’s the first one to get to know that he’s a loser.

I thought I’ll be writing one hell of a review for this one hell of a film but see I sit here struggling to find words to complete this review. But isn’t it said that some things are better left unsaid…


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