Saturday 2 August 2008

The Godfather [1972]

The Godfather didn't just revolutionize the gangster genre, it literally became the face of American cinema overnight. Of course, it also happens to be one of the greatest movies ever made, and not just in America. Francis Ford Coppola was a wannabe director – he was roped in to adapt Mario Puzo’s bestselling novel to screen because the producers (mistakenly) felt he would listen to them, only that he didn’t; Marlon Brando was no more the super star that he was and was in desperate need of a great role; Al Pacino was an actor whom some people had noticed for a couple of good movies like Scarecrow, nothing much – and together they created history. The mesmerizing portrayal of ‘Family’ values, loyalty and cohesion (‘Mafia’ is never used), the bleak and yet strikingly captivating cinematography (the movie is washed in brown filter during indoors), the hauntingly beautiful score by Nino Rota, the lyrical narrative coupled with the fluid visuals – there isn’t really a single flaw in the movie. Brando’s turn as the ageing, principled godfather Vito Corleone who has been trying to have a piece of Sicily in the US, and Al Pacino’s portrayal of his youngest son Michael Corleone who has embraced the American Dream but is forced to take over the family business, are as good as Coppola’s superlative and flawless direction that propelled him to the highest echelons as far as respect and stardom are concerned. The celebrated climax feels like a synchronized ballet dance, despite the chilling portrayal of cold, ruthless violence.

Director: Francis Ford-Coppola
Genre: Drama/Crime Drama/Gangster Film/Family Drama
Language: English
Country: US


Joel Bocko said...

One of your best capsules - a very enjoyable read. As for the film, I've probably seen it more times than any other - except for Star Wars.

Shubhajit said...

Thanks a lot Joel. Yes, I too have watched the film quite a few times. Though I still like this film a lot, over the last few years I've come to like Part 2 more - in fact, make that 'a lot more'.