Ferrara pulls no punches. He paves his moral highways with blood and dares his characters to swim out alive. Gangster films are not often tackled with such subtlety, save that explosive finale: a conclusion like no other- brutal and unexpected. When the weight of the world you've created becomes too much to bare, you self-destruct and take with you everything held dearest. Masterpieces cannot exist with their flaws.
It all starts with Bogart and one of his most popular roles: a relentless gangster thirsty for revenge. At the end, there is the biggest savage and brutal "revenge" of them all - and with it, the mob is destroyed by the most simple thing in human existence: the emotional importante of family. Despite some poorly made moments, Abel Ferrara punctuates the film with an epic side, which makes «The Funeral» brilliant.
Chris Penn, Christopher Walken, Vincent Gallo, Benicio Del Toro, Annabella Sciorra, Isabella Rossellini...a ridiculous number of great performances. A different kind of mobster film, the criminal lifestyle is passed down along with serious psychological problems. The difference in how the three brothers deal with this legacy, makes an interesting conflict. Nobody's hands are clean and the past keeps hanging around.
Very underrated Ferrara film, and a real dream cast to boot. Chris Penn delivers his definitive performance, IMO, and the finale is truly shocking. Solid performances from Benicio, Gallo, and Walken, not to mention a strong female character in Sciorra (atypical of the Ferrara films I've seen). As far as gangster films, this one has real heart and depends less on action than on sheer character study.