The Godfather (1972)
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Cast: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall
(Check out the fan-made trailer. We did not make this)
I couldn’t stand the thought of sitting through The Godfather when it was presented to me over the years. It’s long, it’s old, and the story is slightly complicated. Or, at least, that’s what I assumed. I don’t know what the urge was to finally watch it but when I scrolled past it on my HBO Go app, I decided to give it a shot.
Within five seconds I was hooked and that is not an exaggeration. “Speak Softly, Love” or otherwise known as “The Godfather Theme,” written by Larry Kusik and Nino Rota, plays while the title card is shown for the first time and we see the puppet strings suspending the words “The Godfather” in the center of the screen. There is something about the theme that is so intriguing. It’s romantic and mysterious and immerses you into the world of the film as soon as it starts playing. I enjoyed many things about The Godfather but none of the great thrills or dramatic moments would have landed for me if not for the theme, which colored the world in such a genuinely beautiful tone and melody.
The Godfather is the story of mob family in New York during the 1940’s and 50’s led by “The Don” Vito Corleone, played by the phenomenal Marlon Brando. Corleone and his sons make up one of six crime families that run all of the gambling and racketeering on their designated sides of town. The youngest son, Michael Corleone, played by an almost unrecognizable Al Pacino, is seen as the outsider as he does not have any criminal dealings with the mafia side of his family. However, after The Godfather is attacked, Michael will have to get his hands dirty and truly live up to the Corleone name.
Without a doubt the most interesting thing among a slough of interesting things in The Godfather is the performance given by Marlon Brando. Being a #Millenial, I haven’t seen many works from the olden days and therefore have never seen a Brando flick (I know, terrible). My god was he terrific! Brando’s signature soft yet gruff voice that he mumbles over his protruding bottom jaw is captivating, and you can’t help but cling to every word he mutters. Brando was also the master of quiet-until-he-wasn’t method of acting which is something that his co-star could’ve taken a page from in his later years. (Why are you always screaming, Al??) I had many favorite moments from the film, but my absolute favorites were any time Brando was onscreen, which in retrospect could’ve been more!
I was also very impressed by young Al Pacino, who plays the reluctant son turned mob boss. Pacino plays the young Corleone with great sincerity, surprising only because I’ve seen several of his later works. You can see the love and respect he has for his family and most importantly, his father, but also his unwillingness to be apart of something that makes him more than a normal, everyday person. It’s only after his father’s attack that he seamlessly transitions from a nobody to a somebody, hellbent on avenging the fallen patriarch. The rest of the movie you can see the fire in his eyes which is more on par to what I’m used to seeing with Al Pacino films but its 1,000 times more genuine than ever, keeping me on the edge of my seat wondering what he’s going to do next.
I don’t want to give away much of the film for those who haven’t seen it yet, as I assume many still haven’t, but I hope this peaks your interest even just a little bit. Set aside three hours of your life where you won’t be bothered, pop in this bad boy on Blu-Ray and fall in love with what could be considered the greatest American film of the 20th century. As always, leave us your thoughts down below or over on our Facebook page. Stay Entertained.