“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”

Posted: 24. okt. 2010 in Books, Films/TV-Shows
Sildid:, , , , ,

I can’t believe I never watched “The Godfather”. I’ve always heard it’s considered one of the best movies of all time. I’m always critical about these kind of movies. Usually when a movie is highly rated and liked by people and critics like it I don’t like it. Like for example “Avatar”. Now I had some time and I was curious about “The Godfather”. Firstly I read about it and almost immediately was “sold” to the story. And then I watched all the three movies. And I’m just stunned – “The Godfather” trilogy is really one of the best movies I’ve seen. I really like the story and  I think the actors are amazing.

The first film is based on the Mario Puzo book “The Godfather” and follows the story there. Although it is shot in 1972 it does not bother me that there aren’t any cool nowadays effects. I think that the best roles are done by Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone, Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen and Robert DeNiro as young Vito Corleone. I honestly don’t know what the heads of the Paramount studio were thinking if they wanted to replace Al Pacino. I think he was the perfect Michael Corleone. I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing that role. The second film starts where the first one ended – Michael becomes the new head of the family and how he manages as this. In a parallel line there is also the story of young boy named Vito Andollino – how he came to the USA and later in life became don Vito Corleone. The third film is done many years later in 1990 and observes the downfall of the Corleone family, Michael retiring and the new generation of Corleones.

The life story of Michael Corleone is  what captured my attention. Michael Corleone never wanted to be in his father business, he wanted to do something else. That’s why he was referred to as “civilian”. But after his father (the godfather don Vito Corleone) was shot and taken into hospital the rage kind of blinded him and he wanted revenge. That’s the first time the “gangster” in him comes out. After that he retreats to Sicily and falls in love (in my opinion truly in love for the first time) to a local girl and marries her. I know that he was with Kay before but I really think that Apollonia was the love of his life. Unfortunately she was killed just minutes before Michael learned about the death of his older brother Sonny. And I think it was the turning point in the story – Michael learned that the world that surrounds him is full of violence and people closest to him are dying or hurt. That makes him want to take care of the rest of the family so that they can stay safe. But in doing that he actually forgets to think about the feelings of others and also of his own feelings. He marries Kay, has children with her, is truly the new head of the family but he isn’t happy. His brother betrays him, the enemies never go away – he starts to alienate people closest to him. Therefore he loses Kay and his children, he has his brother Fredo killed and in the end is alone. And although many people say that the third film isn’t that good and shouldn’t have been made I disagree. I think that the third film is the natural and logical step towards the end. In the third film Michael is a broken man and isn’t anymore the powerful head of the family. Many people dislike the third movie for that very same reason. But I think it’s pretty logical – Michael never wanted to lead the criminal life, he never wanted to be the head of the family but he was forced to do that. So most of his life he lived with being in contrast with himself that’s why in my opinion in the third film when he is older he tries to do something he wanted to do already when he was young. That’s why he seeks redemption and forgiveness. But as usual he doesn’t succeed because as they say – when you give your finger to the devil it takes the whole hand.  In the third movie he learns that his fathers oldest friend betrays the family and due to that Michael’s dearest and oldest friend don Tommassino is killed. The enemies of the Corleone family shoot Michael and kill her daughter Mary. The loss of Mary is the final straw to Michael. The film ends with Michael being very old, sitting in a chair in Sicily and thinking about his daughter Mary, his first wife Apollonia and his second wife Kay and then he collapses and dies. It’s just sad how the life of Michael was and how he badly wanted to make amends and every time something happened.

The other part of the story that I liked is the overall mafia family everyday life. Luckily I’ve never had any contact with any mafia people – I think nowadays the various gangs are the main theme, not so much of the mafia world anymore. But it was interesting to see how these kind of families “work”, how close they actually are to each other, how important is the “code” and honor etc. It was also inspiring to watch how a small boy named Vito Andollino from the Sicilian city of Corleone comes to the USA, grows up, works very hard and in the end becomes a famous and honored don Vito Corleone. In a way it’s the American dream – you start off very poor but you work very hard and in the end you can become rich and respected.

What was a bit weird for me is the main love theme in the third movie – the love between Vincent Corleone (Sonny’s illegitimate son) and Mary Corleone (Michael’s daughter). They are cousins. It’s just weird. But I do think they cast very good actor for these roles – Andy Garcia makes an awesome Vincent Corleone and Sofia Coppola is a good Mary. Some have said that Sofia Coppola’s Mary wasn’t good at all. I don’t quite agree. Mary was supposed to be naive, innocent girl who is just discovering the world, she was his fathers little girl and she didn’t have so many lines in the movies. That’s why I think Sofia Coppola suited for the role.

But I do have to applaud to Francis Ford Coppola for making this awesome movie and to Mario Puzo for writing such awesome book. I really enjoyed these three movies. I’m just a bit sad that I didn’t discover them earlier. I definitely advise people to watch this movie (if you haven’t watched already). It’s not the typical gangster movie, it’s much more.

Here’s the main theme accompanied by some clips of the movie:

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