I’ve been hearing about this film since I was in grade school. People would say it’s a must- see movie. It’s a classic. It’s going down in history. It’s something you should see before you die. Bucket list film. And I always wondered why. I’d see clips and previews of it, and I’d really wonder why, because first impression wise, it looks really boring. Sorry to be so bland.
So when we were actually required to watch the film, I though to myself, well at least I won’t feel like I’m wasting my time because I have to watch the film. But hands down, I had no regrets whatsoever, at all.
I was first shocked to see one of my dad’s favorite actors in this film at such a young age, Al Pacino. I remember seeing him in very recent films, movies in my generation at a much older stage in his acting career, doing more supporting roles and father or grandfather characters. But here, he played the son, which was refreshing to see that even in his early prime years as an actor, his skills and talents were already very much well- honed and honorary.
The Godfather as a whole is based on a book of the same title by Mario Puzo (this I looked up because I was curious) and I knew the story had to have come from a novel because no screenplay can do this much justice. Drugs, murder, deceit, stealth, and crime all in one film? More substance any film can ever have and even need.
The Mofia. Any book or film that covers such a controversial subject and pulls it off definitely deserves all the credit and recognition it can get. And the Godfather does it perfectly. The three parts span over ten years, and to put three films together about one family involved in such heinous but well thought out crimes, the viewer is almost given an overview of their entire lives. The film goes about it so well that it draws the audience in to even relate and empathize with the characters, although the audience is well aware that they are all the bad guys. The Godfather is the only film that can make being bad look so good, it is the only film that can have the bad guys be the ones you end up rooting for. It is successful in a sense that after watching it, whether you’d like to admit it or not, you want to be a member of the Mofia.
The Godfather Part 1 is more of an introduction to the Italian American Corleone crime family. Of course, it’s followed by two parts: Godfather Part 1 and Godfather Part 2, as everyone knows, but everyone also accepts that the sequels can never live up to the first film.
In Part 1, we see Michael (Al Pacino) the youngest son, who is uninvolved with the mob business, the business of his family, turn around and become the actual Don after involving himself through planning assassinations and is dawned the Godfather when he stands as godfather in the christening of Carlo and Connie’s son. He takes his position and it is in Part 2 that we actually see him take it to the extreme with his Mofia activity.
I appreciate how the film goes back and forth from their lives to the court, making it almost seem as if it were really happening and that maybe at one point in history, the Godfather actually did happen. I also love how candid they are with the people of the court and how they time and time again, outsmart the police. The Godfather gives off the feel that it is based on a true story, an actual Italian American family that migrated to New York, and continued the Mofia. This besides the fact that it makes Mofia something you want to be a part of rather than just playing the game, is one of its bigger strengths. And all I can say, after having seen Part 1 of the Godfather is I want to be a Corleone.
There’s no wonder the film won Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay and has actually been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. It is truly deserving and I don’t think any other film, especially nowadays, in this generation and time, can surpass it. It’s only something our fathers would know.