The Review: Ever go to the freezer for chocolate ice cream, because you think you have luxury chocolate ice cream and it’s one of the best things ever? Except when you look in the freezer, there’s only vanilla. It’s nice and all, but you were really in the mood for chocolate. Well, this similarly promises something for the first half an hour or so, then turns out to be something entirely different, and not as satisfying as what you thought you were getting.
Mind you, what’s here is pretty good. Martin Scorsese is probably the greatest living American director and the class shows in both the direction and the cinematography, with a tense, claustrophobic atmosphere enhancing many of the later scenes.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Leonardo Di Caprio, but he turns in some excellent work here, nuanced and restrained to just the right degree. No-one else has much chance to show range, but there isn’t a false note among the cast.
And when the truth is finally revealed, it turns out to be more chocolate frozen yoghurt – an ending that makes more of what’s gone before and is closer to what you wanted, but still never quite fulfils that original promise.
Why see it at the cinema: Scorsese’s masterful direction and the sharp cinematography, coupled with some very striking images.
The Score: 8/10