The Funeral (1996)


The youngest brother of a trio of gangsters is shot dead and as they gather to mourn, they relive his final days as they try to uncover the killer.

In common with a lot of Abel Ferrara’s films The Funeral is a very bleak affair, which is full of unsympathetic characters making it a little hard going to watch. Rather like TV series The Sopranos – in fact a couple of the regular cast appear here in supporting roles – it is more a domestic drama set in the world of organized crime rather than a gangster film. The cast is to die for, with Christopher Walken, Benicio Del Toro, Isabella Rosselini, Chris Penn and Vincent Gallo and they all put in solid performances; unfortunately it is very difficult to relate to any of the characters and the unrelenting nihilism combined with the fact that the film ends rather abruptly – I believe the production literally ran out of money – makes it difficult to feel any emotional involvement.

The Funeral is still a solidly made and acted film but really only essential viewing for completist fans of the genre and actors involved.



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