Notes for Goodfellas Essay

Anna Wang (wr31) Genre: Crime The Note of Goodfellas Goodfellas is full of shocking details united by protagonist’s voice over. As a result, it gives me the most tiring reading experience so far since I have to pay attention to both the description and voice over at the same time and constantly imagine what it would be like on the screen. For example, On Page 16, Henrys voice over tells me how successful he is in the neighborhood while I “see” his mother opens the door and sees a poshly dressed Henry and I “hear” his mother exclaiming “My God, you look ike a gangster. Followed is an incident of Henry trying to help a shot man. I “see” the man collapse, “hear” him screams. I “hear” Tuddy ask Henry to shut the door. I “see” Henry closes the door and helps wrap the man’s wound outside the building. I “hear” Tuddy scolds Henry. On top of all, it is Henrys voice over. It reveals a lot of back story of gangsters’ life and Henrys complicated feeling to the life. The writer uses only 2 pages to show so many facts and convey so complex feelings.

Goodfella opens with a rutal killing sequence ending with a frozen image of Henry Hill and his voice over “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster”. This remembrance is echoed throughout the movie. Whenever I hear Henrys voice over, I can’t help but thinking how close he is to his dream life and if it is worthwhile. The psychological tension makes up the somewhat loosely told story. The ending is extremely powerful since the quiet life in small town basically means death toa gangster. Sometimes the story is also told by Karen’s voice over, which, I think, it is a little bit too much.

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