UnlovelySara’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film School Drop Outs (2018)
Week 34: Composer - Ennio Morricone
Fun fact: in our house Ennio Morricone is worshipped – once my dad bought me one of those box sets with his most famous compositions and I remember I played those cds until they started to skip.
My brother even mounted the stage for one of his concerts and still recalls the magic surrounding that event.
All this blabbering is to tell ya that, even if I was already familiar with the composition with the main title, Poverty and Deborah’s Theme, hearing them paired with their corresponding scenes left me breathless.
With Once Upon a Time in America we’re talking about art, we’re talking about love, hate, death, life, victory, defeat, friendship, innocence, honour, betrayal and disrespect – we’re talking about mankind.
And mankind not always is good; sometimes mankind can be disgusting, perpetrating horrible crimes for no reason at all... other times, even the most ruthless people can reveal their inner weaknesses.
That’s the case with Noodles: I can’t side with him because of what he did to Deborah – he acts out of instinct, because he can’t believe that she won’t be his even though he has changed so much ever since his childhood – but I won’t forget the times when he has tried to protect the people he cared about, like Max or Dominic.
(Don’t get me started on Dom’s death, I didn’t need Gavroche’s flashbacks to bite me in the ass like this)
And, uhm, I know this will sound absurd but I’m inclined to believe that Noodles was guilty of rape just the second time: the reactions of the two victims are too different to say that Leone handled the first one poorly; in my opinion, if he chose to show it like this is because they’re two different situations.
The relationship between Max and Noodles has reminded me so much of the one between Sonny and Tom of The Godfather saga: two people who have pretty much opposite personalities but that would give their life away for the other’s wellbeing.
I loved the dynamics between those two, and finding them in this movie too could only win me over.