Monday, September 10, 2007

Holsten's - where Tony Soprano got whacked

I visited Noah in New Jersey and he drove me to Holsten's, the ice cream store/diner where supposedly Tony Soprano got killed in the final episode. It looked differently than the movie - the position of movie camera's affect POV. The food was great - I ordered a bowl of onion rings and ate them like Tony, sticking my tongue out and putting one whole on the tongue and eating it like a communion wafer. Really nice place, friendly, relaxed, just a great mood in the place. Teenagers wait tables, the grill cooks laught and joke and the owner visits with a regular customer. Simple menu. They have it perfect. BTW, the mural on the back wall is different than the movie version - there is no "cat" on the back wall, adding to the idea that the "cat" was an omen of impending doom. Oddly enough, we had trouble parallel parking out front, just like Meadow. It was worth the drive - fascinating driving through New Jersey, observing the different cities, boros, how different populations live different areas. Holsten's is in a residential neighborhood that is very stable - looks like it was always middle class residential neighborhood (Bloomsfield). It borders Lodi, an older factory town, where working people lived and worked in the factories - now Lodi's factories are closed (moved to china) and empty, and dominicans (not the religious order) live there, in a stable but struggling community.

The argument for Tony's death: fore shadowing. Bobby talks to Tony on the boat when they were vacationing. What happens to guys like us? They either end up in jail or dead. Bobby asks Tony: will be have any warning before we get whacked? Or does it all just go "black" - which is what happens at the end of the last episode. The cat that the gang adopts - it stares at a picture of christopher - is it christopher's ghost, or adrianna's? Dr. Melfi kicking Tony out of therapy: he is hopeless, pathological. The director of the movie substitutes the mural in Hostens with one that includes a cat! What is he telling us? The guy in the members only jacket - he comes out and shoots Tony just as Tony looks up at Meadow coming in through the door (BTW, there is really no "bell" on the Holsten's door). The assassin has a clear shot because Meadow is not sitting next to Tony - she was delayed because of the parallel parking problem (that is why the parking is included - why else would the director show us Meadow having trouble parking if it doesn't mean something?) The guy probably shoots AJ too. Carmella sits watching her husband and son die from head wounds, Meadow sees her dad and brother killed. Carmella is told by her Jewish psychiatrist and her catholic priest that she should end her marriage, take her kids away from Tony. But she continues because of the money, the spec house, the jewelry Tony gives her - the affluent life style. She has a contract with the devil, with evil, and she pays by losing her husband and her son. Meadow is interning with the local county prosecutor, investigating the HUD scam in Newark, which will eventually lead her to discover what a crook her father was. The movie end tragically - Tony gets whacked at Holsten's - which is in itself ironic, since it is such a sweet, pleasant place, far from the evil of organized crime.

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