The mob, a subject that has been covered almost every way you can think of. Glorified, glamorized, famous and infamous. We forget sometimes that the mob is a real thing, with real people, and real reasons for their perspective involvements. We forget the repercussions of said organization, not only to others in the community, but the people inside the mob as well. Rob the Mob does something special, something unique, and something that many other films are afraid to do: Tell its story, til the very bittersweet end.
Rob the Mob
Director: Raymond de Felitta
Release Date: 3/14/2014
The Plot revolves around the real life story of a Bonnie and Clyde duo that robs mob social clubs after a big time mobster, John Gotti, goes on public trial, giving up mob secrets and the location of many of these mob social clubs, which it turns out are left defenseless because of the mob’s own code of conduct with these establishments. First regarded as a minor threat and embarrassment, it becomes life changing when Tommy and Rosie stumble across something that is more valuable than money.
Lets just knock this out right now: the cast is amazing. Hands down some of my favorite performances in the mob genre. Andy Garcia does a fantastic job as Big Al, showing you just how deep a series of events, by chance can lead you to a place that you never thought possible. Michael Pitt (Tommy) and Nina Arianda (Rosie) make you fall in love with the idea of this real life relived Bonnie and Clyde, which really hammers home the conclusion of the film, which is really a pivotal pillar to the movie as a whole. Ray Romano (Jerry Cardozo) does a great job as the mob expert reporter that learns what happens when you get too invested in your story. The majority of supporting cast really helped make the characters come alive, with only a minor gripe being the casting of the child actor that plays Big Al’s Grandson, which slightly broke the mood of some scenes that could have been a home run with a different actor.
Cinematography is as fluid as water, matched by its tight pacing, leaving you watching a movie you will not want to look away from. Everything is as long as it needs to be and it does not feel like their is any padding slowing down the movie. Imagery is still very vibrant, capturing the colors of Queens and the surrounding areas brilliantly, where many other movies in the same vein choose to hollow out the life of the characters in an overwhelming dark, grey environment. The images just pop.
You have to really hand it to director Raymond de Felitta. The execution and vision of the movie comes across clearly and beautifully. Not afraid to bring you to the inevitable conclusion, but doing so in such a way that it is as if you are resting your head gently on a pillow.
It must be said that it is always difficult to weave real life into the magical world of movies, and its even harder to make that story relatable, especially when we talk about things like the mob and organized crime. It is about striking the perfect balance, which I feel Rob the Mob definitely has. It does a great job weaving the idea that these are real people, with real lives that are not just some static good guy/bad guy archetypes interacting with anti-hero protagonists . They are the shades of grey that all humans are. This is not a gangster-heavy mob flick packed with violence, destruction, and greed, it’s a “This is how it is” flick. It can be beautiful and romantic, but lined with the dark reality that there is a price for overreaching your boundaries when you take as big a risk as being in the mob, let alone trying to rob them.
In the end it feels amazing and raw in a way that is outside of the normal definition. The whimsical nature of life is really one of the strongest things in life that this movie portrays. Yes things can be beautiful, but they can also be extremely dark. With every drop of colorful life that might touch the surface, there can be an underlying layer of desperation. Actions do have real life consequences even if you think they don’t, and if you ever have to say, “Is it really a crime?” you might already be leading your life to a much darker answer than a yes or no.