It’s difficult to talk about one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time, for the reason that there is just so much to be said. The Godfather for many is an instant and timeless classic, a movie that has set the standard for other films to strive to be like. I myself enjoyed the film, it falls nothing short of the epic ambiance that it instills right from the opening credits as the audience is greeted by the infamous scoring of the Godfather soundtrack. It’s tune now infamous and directly linked to heart and soul of the Godfather series.
A gangster film at it’s core, the Godfather is an epic tale of the Corleone family through the rise and fall of Michael Corleone. Filled with violence, blood and gore, at first glance this may seem as more of an action film than anything else. However after an entire screening, it would be rather obvious that this is a film best filed under the genre of drama. Francis Ford Coppola’s work is rightfully described as a masterpiece, and after viewing the movie I can’t argue with the high praise that I’ve always heard about it.
What I exceptionally liked about the film was how it was both sincere and sadistic in it’s own right. At one moment we as the audience would be listening to Don Vito talk about the importance of family and how even the involvement of narcotics in the mafia business would bring about nothing but trouble, in a sense Don Vito was a very noble and respectable man as the Godfather. However, in the next scene we would then see men being garroted and strangled to death by orders of the same man whilst being justified as all a part of business. The Godfather doesn’t fail to erect the cold, heartless and deceptive atmosphere of the mafia world.
Towards the end of the film, in its climax, the movie juxtaposes the irony between the sanctification of the catholic beliefs of the Corleone family during the christening of Connie and Carlo’s son to that of the relentless killing as ordered by Michael. In essence, although kept cool, calm and somewhat comforting on the surface, the mafia world is exposed for all its blood, gore and backstabbing that it enthralls. The Godfather speaks volumes not just about mob life but about the importance of family. What stood out to me throughout the film was how Don Vito never failed to teach Michael the importance of family and how he should place his family above all else. Amidst the gangster life that he lived, it was the lone bright spot that shed some light into the darkness of the Godfather.
The scene which I feel captures the soul of The Godfather film is the famous part when studio head Jack Woltz in terror is greeted in the morning with the fresh head of his most prized horse in his bed, covered in blood (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzlsmSqSqXI&feature=related). As Tom Hagen comes to greet Woltz with a caring and warm personality and nature, it completely masks his true intentions, that these people are going to get what they want no matter what the cost. The Godfather leads many into a false sense of security before whiplashing it right back into their face, this scene captures the deceptive spirit of the mob world and the coldness that it ensues, whilst being simplified as “business” which adds all the more to it’s heartless nature.
Ultimately, despite what the film may stand for, it is utterly a tale of epic proportions set in a gangster world. It is a film not worth watching but worth experiencing, a film that one simply can’t refuse.