Plot: Vito Corleone is the aging don (head) of the Corleone Mafia Family. His youngest son Michael has returned from WWII just in time to see the wedding of Connie Corleone (Michael’s sister) to Carlo Rizzi. All of Michael’s family is involved with the Mafia, but Michael just wants to live a normal life. Drug dealer Virgil Sollozzo is looking for Mafia families to offer him protection in exchange for a profit of the drug money. He approaches Don Corleone about it, but, much against the advice of the Don’s lawyer Tom Hagen, the Don is morally against the use of drugs, and turns down the offer. This does not please Sollozzo, who has the Don shot down by some of his hit men. The Don barely survives, which leads his son Michael to begin a violent mob war against Sollozzo and tears the Corleone family apart.
So I’m sitting here visiting Zoë and she’s got a gun to my head convinced me to finally get my ass around to watch The Godfather. I’ve been dreading this for so many reasons: it’s long and I don’t really have the time to get to such long movies and it sounded extremely serious and I don’t like bleak and dragging movies. I finally sat down with Zoë to see this and even though I was threatened with disembowelment reassured that it would be okay if I didn’t like it, I can report with relief that this Blindspot choice was an excellent decision and it is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
The Godfather starts with a wedding scene that takes ages to run through but it doesn’t feel that way – it is an introduction to Vito Corleone’s attachment to family and his work ethic. It keeps running and is a phenomenal undertaking that moves from scene to scene with grace. I really enjoyed that although the Corleones make their cash through girls, it is never a cheap movie with lots of nudity and unwanted sex scenes.
The Godfather is extremely long, and although I am prone to complaining about this, I can really get myself into watching massive movies if they are really good. The Godfather does not feel like it is close to three hours as it is perfectly divided into plot lines.
The story itself is so intense it feels like the plot for a ten season series. It is beautifully laid out, covering all territories and never leaving one part of the cast ignored. There are no plot holes that are usually irritating and makes the story fall flat. There is drama, family issues, romance, violence and it is all rolled into one tight package.
The cast is astonishingly good and very well cast. Marlon Brando is menacing and so powerful and his performance is completely solid. He demands every room he enters and the amount of class and etiquette he exudes is astounding to watch. Robert Duval has this calm and collected good-guy vibe around him, yet he is often the enforcer in the family. I loved the relationship Vito and Tom had – Tom was Vito’s son in anything but blood and he was treated as such. It is also jaw dropping to see Al Pacino and James Caan so young – I had always thought they had been born as old men and had just always had distinguished airs and wrinkles and receding hairlines.
Michael (Al Pacino) was such an intriguing character. He was his father’s most beloved and Vito did everything in his power to give his son a life outside the mob world, but Michael was the one who kept sorting things out when everything went south. I eventually just kept thinking that he couldn’t catch a break – no happiness could be eternal with him. Al Pacino does an amazing job as Michael – his performance is understated and beautiful, and his expression gives nothing away (I loved that you could never guess if he was going to smile or pop you).
The character development is something that is applied to all the characters – Vito just takes everything as it comes, continues to run his empire and serve his family and goes through some rough patches while approaching a level of happiness at the end of the film. Michael Corleone starts the movie as this noble war-veteran and he ends up as such a respectable ringleader. Sonny (James Caan) convinced me he was such an ass but he had extremely redeeming qualities.
The Godfather was an absolutely a phenomenal watch that I wouldn’t exchange for the world. It didn’t feel like I lost nearly three hours of my life to entertainment, it felt that I gained three hours of entertainment history knowledge. I will gladly watch this movie again – it is the closest movie ever that approached a 10/10 for something else than the Lord of the Rings to me.
Thanks for recommending and watching this with me bestie!!!