The Many Saints of Newark: An Ode to The Sopranos

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Anthony Abrahantes

The Many Saints of Newark film recently came out with many beloved characters returning as their younger selves plus an entirely new cohort of Italian mafiosos.

Lauren Gregorio, Opinion Editor

Director: Alan Taylor

Release Date: October 1, 2021

MPAA Rating: R

Starring: Alessandro Nivola (Dickie Moltisanti), Michael Gandolfini (Tony Soprano), Vera Farmiga (Livia Soprano), Jon Bernthal (Johnny Soprano), Corey Stroll (Junior Soprano), Ray Liotta (Aldo “Hollywood Dick” Moltisanti and Salvatore “Sally” Moltisanti), John Magaro (Silvio Dante), Billy Magnussen (Paulie Walnuts), Leslie Odom Jr. (Harold McBrayer)

Our Rating: A-

It seems somewhat ironic that the title includes the word saints though the characters are far from it. If one has not seen the cultural phenomena “The Sopranos”, then this film may not be for you, as the goal of this newly released film was to show what made Tony, well, Tony. Tony Soprano’s attributes can be written about for days on end because he is considered one of the most complex characters of all time. Nonetheless, this film remained a pleasant watch because of its great props of the 1960s and the humorous one-liners delivered by the tough men in the most unusual circumstances.

The film starts off with Dickie and Tony greeting Aldo (Dickie’s father) and his new, much younger wife who happens to not know a lick of English. Dickie is the focal leader of the family with his confidantes being Junior, Johnny (Tony’s father), Silvio and Paulie. All of them, with the exception of newly introduced Dickie, were actually in the TV show. But, they were set up almost as side characters, therefore we were not able to see them in their younger glory. As the scenes progress, we witness the growing tensions amongst certain family members as well as racial tensions in the city itself: this aspect sets up an entirely new plot in Soprano’s storyline. In fact, one of the familys’ “loyal” workers, Harold, becomes the main antagonist.

“As a proud New York-Italian, I was extremely entertained by the importance of family, even amidst the chaos of the violence, because after all, I resonated with the big family dinners,” senior Sabrina Bonavita said.

The movie was one of those timeless pieces with characters with great backstories. You really stepped into their lives for those two hours, but I believe Tony was not discussed enough,”

— senior Carlo Polita

It was the family against the world, up until Dickie decided to change this precedent. His actions throughout were driven by trying to do a “good deed” to repent for what he had done at the onset of the film. However, each time he tried to do a “good deed”, something seemed to be stuck in the way. Nonetheless, the only thing that did remain stagnant in his storyline was his unconditional love for Tony. Acting like his second father, Dickie tried shielding him from some of the horrors of the family business. This was not necessarily achieved because while dealing with the entanglement of his personal and professional life, a new family came to town who threatened their legitimacy as the city’s powerhouse.

Ultimately, my rating was an A- because of the significant faults in the film. The scenes shifted quickly, leaving the audience to figure out the missing puzzle pieces. Most evidently was the failure of creating the image of Tony. His high school days were spent doing “classic mischievous activities” like stealing ice cream and throwing punches: nothing near the magnitude of what we all had imagined for a more physically competent Tony.

All in all, the making of the film was out of pure love for the Soprano universe and it showed. From James Gandolfini’s son playing his younger self’s role to bringing in actors notable in mobster franchises, “The Many Saints of Newark” was a great piece to take you back in time.