4 December 2013 | achyutaghosh
Zany gangster comedy
Very few actors into their old age have been able to resist the temptation to play out their end years like the last five overs in a 50 over cricket match- keep featuring in any movie that pays decent money. Of late, industry stalwart Rober De Niro has been guilty of the same, but once in a while he does bring out the old sparkle, and more often than not, that is generally in a mobster themed movie. Ditto for The Family- a zany comedy about a family of criminals, who come in all genders and ages.
Robert De Niro is Giovanni Manzoni, a crime boss on the run from his gang, who he tattled on. Put under witness protection, he and his family have a hard time sticking to their given identities as Giovanni is unable to rein in his sadistic urges, leading to a murder here, and a bashing there. His family is not far behind though- Michelle Pfeiffer is one bad closet pyromaniac of a mother, Dianne Aragon is the beautifully dangerous daughter, and John D'Leo is the young wheeler dealer gun, waiting to make a name in the business. The kids are a chip off the old block - brave and shrewd, with extremely practical, no nonsense attitudes. Tommy Lee Jones is the FBI agent who has to help these lunatics maintain a low profile. But all they keep doing, in different doses of hilarity, is making a war-zone out of a mofussil town.
Luc Besson makes a fine comeback with this funny gangster comedy- the script is witty, the pace is fast, there are sudden scenes of shocking violence, and equal doses of laugh out moments. All the actors do a great job. This is a role meant for De Niro- he is a career don (Goodfellas, The Godfather, Casino) and this is right up his alley, a walk in the park. His interactions with his family are awesome, and at the end i was left wanting more of this family- a sequel on the cards? Michelle Pfeiffer's beauty has not dimmed one bit, and Tommy Lee Jones maintains a straight face throughout the antics.
The Family is as much about a real family as it is about thugs. Growing up pains, romance, responsibility, will to survive- all of it is nicely packaged into a decent entertainer which has loads of laughter, guns, hammers, baseball bats, explosions, and everything else you love about the gangster movie genre- 7/10