A little side story to my first experience watching The Godfather was that prior to watching this film in class, I watched it in the comforts of my laptop. After sitting through the entire movie alone, I thought is was epic — until I found out (through the credits!) that it was my man Al Pacino all this time! Imagine the awe (and embarrassment!) I felt for not being able to recognize him–and absolutely having no idea that it was him! I know this paragraph probably reached the maximum number of exclamation points I’m allowed to used but finding out it was him just literally magnified the magnificence of the entire film for me.
I am a fan of crime stories but I never imagined what it was like on the other side of the fence. I do not know if what I’m feeling is morally correct (it probably isn’t) but I felt a sort of sympathy for the criminals’ side. But of course, although The Godfather possessed the power to make me feel that way, it still didn’t lessen the anger I had for my grandmother’s assaulter (see Zodiac blog entry).
The manner in which the Copolla showed us how beautiful revenge is made me appreciate the film so much. I never saw revenge in that kind of light and it somehow made me regard it as something so high with incomparable beauty. The film was brutally honest — showing no fear, hesitation and reservations at all. Although quite heavy for a sensitive person like me, it was a great experience nonetheless.
Amidst all the issues that faced this Mafia family, I somehow managed to focus all my attention to Connie’s situation. As a woman, I felt so much compassion and hatred for her at the same time. I feel for her because no woman must be treated that way, but I hated her so much because she allowed this to happen to herself. I also think of this sequence in a general point of view (and not only from a woman’s perspective) in such a way that the choices we make indeed are our own responsibilities in the end. For example, even though Sonny wanted to protect his sister, he could only do so much because she still decided to stay with her husband. And even though Michael took his life away, Connie threw a fit at him even though she knew that she was better off without him anyway.
In my analysis of this situations, I think that people find it hard to let go of something they had solely the choice of either going for or not. In Connie’s case, it was difficult for her to break free from the abusive relationship because at the back of her head, it was still “her choice”. And, really now, who would want to admit to making the wrong decision and regretting something you were once so sure of? The film sorts through all the kinds of human emotions there is, and this is probably the most significant insight I’ve grabbed from watching it. I like how it was beautifully sewn into the movie, without distracting the audience from the main story of the Corleone’s fight to keep the family safe, up, and alive in the midst of all the Mafia drama going on.
The Godfather also made me look beyond the limits of a father’s love and I found out that there are indeed none. A father’s undying love and support for his own child will forever remain with him until his last breath–and that’s exactly what Vito Corleone left us with. I like how the film shot his death in the tomato garden together with his grandson (Michael and Kay’s firstborn). This for me, was a sort of allusion to heaven — where, despite the dirty life he lived on earth, his good deed of establishing peace and not seeking vengeance for the death of Sonny, was enough for him to die a beautiful death with no regrets, just pure happiness and soliloquy.
I never expected something as violent and deviant (to the morals I was raised with) as The Godfather to make me think about these deeper things in life, but it did.
The Godfather moved me, so I guess its time I, like Luca Brasi in the first few scenes, give him my gratitude, thanks, and unwavering loyalty until the day I die.