THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK (2021)

Directed By: Alan Taylor 
Written by: David Chase & Lawrence Konner
Cinematography: Kramer Morgenthau
Editor: Christopher Tellefsen

Cast: Alessandro Nivola, Ray Liotta, Leslie Odom Jr, Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Michael Gandolfini, Michaela De Rossi, Billy Magnussen, John Magaro, Joey Diaz, Talia Balsam, Ed Marinaro

Before becoming the notorious crime legend, young and inexperienced Anthony Soprano was under the wing of his father figure and mentor, Dickie Moltisanti. Against the backdrop of racial injustice during the violent 1967 Newark riots in the streets of Newark, New Jersey, and a destructive, all-out gang war with ambitious, mighty challengers, Uncle Dickie shows Tony the ropes, paving the way for a new era in crime.


Not really a continuation, but a prequel to see those who came before Tony Soprano and his crew and a glimpse into the environment she not only grew up in but the character who would surround him And guide him.

The film also offers insight into these characters and the ones we already know from the series. This is fun, As here we see them when they are younger and struggling for power. As some of the actions and treachery will have us looking at certain characters differently.

The film offers mroe of a psychological character glimpse and more examines Christopher’s father and Tony’s uncle Dickie we see how he goes about his business and affairs, especially after his father passed away and he is thrust into more of a leadership position. Who influenced Tony soprano and offers eventually a glimpse of what could have been.

As with the series, the film feels dense and has depth. Some of which are told and have some deeper meanings left unsaid but reflected in reactions and situations. 

There is a femme fatale of sorts who is innocent in her aspirations and character but who up the stakes for dickie constantly and seem to be the cause of bad decisions and downfalls.

As the film does concern itself with race. Especially African Americans. The second half of the film concentrates on a mob war between the Italians and the African American crew run by Leslie Odom Jr’s character who used to work for him.

The film takes full advantage of the uncomfortable race relations of the original show. There I was always on the edges where it is flat out in your face and a plot point

It feels like a natural progression for the film to concern race. As African Americans were largely absent from the series and the few times they were seemed disparaging also the casual racism of the main characters of the show shines through. Here it seems to try and make up for a lack of them on the show by offering a few more characters Of color here. 

Still with racist and insulting language and attitudes. Though with less mention of the N-Word. Though the film offers even if at times feels needlessly done in a classic but new time period.

The film showcases the domino effect of how one act eventually destroys and influences so many. In what could have been positive. Which ends up setting the stage for the show. Even if out of pettiness. 

The film doesn’t feel like a one-off it feels like the beginning of more stories or prequels to tell us the story of Tony’s eventual rise to power. 

Even if beautifully shot, it still feels like two flashback episodes that could have easily been part of the show. Plenty of nuances, Unfortunately for some that include taking It’s time abs not necessarily being that action-oriented or anything too monumental happening. As that was never what the show was truly about but people looked at it for. As anything action-oriented usually came out of nowhere not when you were expecting it in the first place.

The film doesn’t really change or offer too much insight or anything to shock the audience. Especially for those familiar with the show. Who will end up being the most entertained by this film. 

Grade: C

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