Don Vito Corleone is the head of an organised crime dynasty and begins to transfer control to his youngest son Michael who has always been very reluctant to get involved in the family business.
The Godfather is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time and I feel that is more than deserved. Everything about the film is outstanding, there’s nothing that makes it weak. The acting is on an unreal level, the story is interesting, the action is good and you find yourself engrossed in the world of the Corleone family.
I have seen the film before but have never actually tried to review it before and I have to openly admit that this is probably one of the toughest reviews to put together. To give the film justice for how outstanding it is just does not seem possible, it is a masterpiece.
In terms of plot the story stretches over many years and gives truly amazing character development for Michael Corleone who has never wanted to be part of it with his brother Sonny and father. He is in love with his girlfriend Kay Adams and seems to be living a very happy life. His time in Sicily and realising he does not really have a choice with it being family changes everything about him. The character we see at Connie’s wedding in the opening scene to the man we see in the final scene is a totally different person. It is quite frightening to witness in all honesty, as it just did not seem possible that he would take on the mantel.
“An offer you can’t refuse”
Something that is said many times throughout the film and does not always work out in the best possible way. I feel though that it is a very important statement to think about, everyone has a price and level at which they could be bought out. That offer that you just could not refuse, that is how I view this they work out what that person wants the most and that becomes the offer.
I absolutely need to gush about the music in the film the tremendous score by Nino Rota is beautiful and haunting. It is perfect for each moment it is involved and you cannot help but picture different scenes and moments. An Italian composer was essential in my opinion to truly capture then mood and moments. It really is one of the most perfect scores I have heard in film.
Marlon Brando is on another level in this film, his sheer presence is outstanding. That is before he even speaks as well, one of the well known facts around the film is about stuffing his cheeks with cotton wool to make him look like a bulldog which worked at the audition luckily though for filming he had a mouthpiece that was actually made by a dentist. Another interesting thing to remember that while he won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role his screen time is only around one hour of the 2 hour and 50 minute running time!
Al Pacino is probably given the toughest role in all honesty with the way his character changes throughout the course of the film. Very interesting that he snubbed the Oscars due to being nominated in a supporting role and I feel that is something that we cannot fault him for considering he has more screen time than Brando. His performance is haunting especially with his actions at the end and giving across the tortured man who has had to change.
James Caan is extremely impressive as well along with Robert Duvall, they both share a lot of screen time together and it really is a joy to watch. Diane Keaton in her first big role is great to watch and her innocence is essential to help with the changes in story. Talia Shire is given some very dramatic moments and steals the scenes with those with very powerful performances.
Is The Godfather one of the greatest films of all time? It certainly is, a complete masterpiece with no faults at all. Given the way it has been restored to show in HD as well makes it look as beautiful as ever.
I applaud you Francis Ford Coppola.