A prequel to the Emmy award-winning TV Series, the Sopranos, The Many Saints of Newark is a brutal and often confronting insight into organised crime in 1960s New York. Told perfectly through the eyes of Christopher Moltisanti, the film navigates Tony Soprano’s challenging upbringing as a “child of the mob.” I won’t go into further details here as I will surely take away from some of the fun for Soprano’s Fans. The film poignantly asks the question: Who Made Tony Soprano? This is a great path to take when you consider the untimely demise of James Gandolfini in 2013 had all but destroyed fans hopes for any resurrection of the Soprano Family.
If you are new to the Soprano verse, beware. This film is not for you as you may struggle to understand what is going on, let alone understand the story and character development layers. There are many moments throughout the film just for the fans, things that only people who have seen every episode of the series would appreciate. For me, this was a real treat, while if you were not across the Sopranos Story Arc and the characters, then the plot and story may seem hollow.
Fans of the original series will instantly recognise impeccably cast younger versions of their favourite characters and even some they know only by mafia legend. Vera Farmiga plays Livia Soprano, Tony’s mother, perfectly, and fans will instantly recognise some of her classic one-liners and mannerisms. Other standouts included Alessandro Nivola as Dickie Moltisantiand and James Gandolfini’s son, Michael Gandolfini, in a highly anticipated performance of young Tony Soprano.
The soundtrack was fantastic, capturing the era’s essence and complimenting the viewer’s journey taken with Young Tony. Cinematography and set designs were also a positive movie experience to see.
Overall, as the credits rolled, I felt the late James Gandolfini would be proud of what has been achieved here, and many fans would also feel the same. There’s plenty of reference and easters eggs too, which kept the film exciting and pleasing. Will we see more Sopranos in the future? Possibly! It is a great outing for fans and followers, but sadly it would be a struggle for those who have not been indoctrinated into the Soprano Famiglia.