(Francis Ford Coppola)
14A, 177 minutes
Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan
Without question, The Godfather is one of finest films ever made, at least from a technical standpoint. From the pacing to the story to the acting to the epic quality of the film itself, everything is about as perfect as you can get. Whether or not this is a film that you will enjoy will depend entirely on whether or not you find the story itself appealing. The film is slow, deliberate, and precise – much like the head of the Corleone family, the Godfather himself. But this is a mob film, to some extent glorifying the actions which most of society would deem ruthless. In many respects, the anti-hero protagonists of this film foreshadow much of what we see in today’s entertainment, and in terms of how the movie makes such a lifestyle almost appealing speaks to the inner demons of us all.
Because let’s face it. To be rich, powerful, influential, feared, and respected all at the same time is something that even the most pious of us cannot deny is, at least in some small measure, compelling. In that sense, movie like The Godfather allow us to explore those darker emotions and, perhaps, live a bit vicariously through the characters in the film. In that sense, there’s plenty here from vendettas to power struggles to rising through the ranks to become head of a powerful organization.
More than anything, this is Michael Corleone’s (Al Pacino) story. It tells how this youngest son of Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) went from a civilian to the head of his mob family – how he cast aside the promise of a “normal” life for the duty and obligation to safeguard his family. Indeed, “family” is a big part of the film – and a big part of why Michael’s motivations seem so genuine. Of course, family plays a crucial role in this movie, as it does with many cultures and societies. And it is through this lens that the audience is allowed to make a connection to the characters in the film.
Samuel Walters, dauntlessmedia.net