Shamma M. Raghib
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan,
Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Sterling Hayden
Genre: Classic Crime Drama
Length: 175 minutes
Campus Classics Rating: 10/10
If Francis Coppola hadn't signed Al Pacino in this film, then I am not sure where Pacino would be today! The Godfather is possibly the greatest movie ever going to be! Every crime movie nowadays uses the word 'godfather' regardless of country's origin. It is a full throttle mafia life cast brilliantly in silver screen. The 1972 best picture Oscar-winner is a great pulp drama co-authored for the screen by Coppola and novelist Mario Puzo (the script also won an Oscar). Bagging three Oscars and ten Academy Awards nominations, set in the mid to late 1940s NYC with Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone, head of the crime family; it was filmed as a modern version of Shakespeare's King Lear (featuring a king and three sons: Sonny, Michael, and Fredo)
The Godfather part one of the three-part saga, talks about violence, power, honor, obligation, corruption, justice and crime in America. The Silician immigrant Don is the head of one of the five Italian-American "families" that operates a crime syndicate. Family loyalty and blood ties are juxtaposed with brutal and vengeful bloodletting and the inevitable downfall of the family. Romanticized scenes of the domestic home life of members of the family - a family wedding, shopping, a baptism, kitchen cooking, etc., are intertwined with scenes of horrific violence and murder contracts - a total of 23 deaths litter the film. Over 50 scenes involved food and drink. Exquisite bon appetite!
Don is the center of murder and deceit, and he is kept busy even on his daughter Connie's wedding day. While guests eat, drink and dance on the lawns of his spacious estate, Corleone's guest lists are all the people who want something from him - a service that no one else can provide. His visitors range from the lowliest undertaker to the most famous singer, Johnny Fontane (Al Martino), but they all have something in common. After Corleone has granted his favour they will always be in his debt and one day, they're afraid, he will collect. The story revolves around the family, their rise and fall and these are the lifeblood of The Godfather- respect, sacrifice, love and responsibility. Scenes from within the Corleone family are much like anyone else's - they bicker, love, celebrate and sadden. However, viewed from the outside, the trail of destruction as one generation hands over to the next is staggering, horrifying and awfully gripping. If you are a crime movie freak like me and still haven't watched this timeless classic, then go get a copy now!
(R) thedailystar.net 2006