A crime saga about the New York Sicilian Corleone Mafia family. The film covers the period 1945-1955.
The head of the family, Don Vito Corleone, marries off his daughter. At this time, his beloved son Michael returns from World War II. Michael, a war hero and the pride of the family, expresses no desire to take over the brutal family business. Don Corleone conducts his business under the old rules, but different times come and there are people who want to change the established order. Don Corleone is assassinated.
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A diamond of cinematography, sparkling against the background of dull everyday films, a genius film, not for nothing that won its Oscars but deserved more statuettes, everything in it – from the music to the credits, a great masterpiece!!! Puzo, genius of the pen… would you believe it? Of course, our admiration – the last thing, and certainly this coloring – insincere. Casual readers epithets care little, so no eulogies, we are primarily interested in the analysis of the film and its characters. Fasten your seat belts.
To avoid confusion, the main characters reviewed are:
Don Vito Corleone – The Godfather, head of a powerful Italian family in America.
Sonny Corleone – Vito’s oldest son.
Fredo Corleone – Vito’s middle son.
Michael Corleone – Vito’s youngest son.
Tom Higin – Vito’s advisor.
I. About the people.
Children of their gods.
Overly eager to do battle, drawing his future image from his own father and trying to catch up with that image ahead of time, feeling like the successor to the head of the family, and trying to live up to other people’s expectations of him, efficient and ambitious but inexperienced and hotheaded – these are all features of the portrait of Sonny, the integral son of the family, focused on getting involved in business and dealing with important issues.
The estranged son of the family is Michael, a war hero who returns from service to his father’s eternal embrace, he says of his relatives’ illegal business “It’s them but not me,” builds a relationship with his woman, attends his sister’s wedding and goes to the movies. For a while Michael is comfortably suspended between his own self and family unity, he is neutral to the activities of his kin, though he respects and loves them. He does not deny his family’s position, just does not show any desire to live side by side with the laws of Italian business in America. Michael has a different past than his relatives, and therefore a different vision of the present, where he finds himself a member of a powerful and distinctive clan.
Sonny’s frantic intemperance and zealous reading of tradition, more of a chasm between him and his father than a link between them. At the same time, Michael’s detachment from tradition is akin to the head of the family. Sonny is initially a criminal, and in this he is similar to Vito, but he is completely uncalculated and short-sighted, and therefore cannot reach an understanding of his responsibility, something that unites Vito and Michael so strongly. Sonny, aspiring to his father, remains so as a son, the romantic of the family, but not its mind.
And Michael, being distant from his father, alone in his family, thus adjoins him very closely. Michael, while initially rejecting the path of crime, nevertheless feels admiration for his father’s ability to conduct affairs by the carrot and stick method, to be the master of the situation. Admitting the crime is an important factor in its commission. And admiration for the crime?
How indicative and not uncommon it is when a family is united by misfortune. Michael’s transition from Self to Rodney occurs, of course, after the assassination attempt on his father and the threat to the rest of the family. Sonny becomes enraged in his heart, shouts a lot and bangs his fists on the tables, and Michael takes the role of head, he decides to deal with the problems that have developed without shifting responsibility to others’ shoulders. It’s a strong decision to make a sacrifice to those for whom you feel responsible, taking on their heavy burden.
Michael is not left out, even though the situation is not personally dangerous for him. It is not Michael who seeks the protection of the family, but the family accepts his protection. The ability to give up everything he held dear, to put himself at risk for the sake of the clan, has become Michael’s serious claim to leadership. Vito gives his approval to someone who didn’t want it, but found himself owed it. And it is to him that he later passes the responsibility for the family and the business.
Fredo Corleone played the role of a kind of character addition. Unlike the intuitive and devoted Sonny, he rejected tradition and shunned family. Unlike the lonely and thoughtful Michael, he proved weak for responsibility and caring. In his own way, Fredo is a man who demonstrates the difference between an heir to a family and its renegade.
The three offspring of a god in his world find their own paths. One’s path is short and precipitous, one is long but very thorny, and one leads in the wrong direction. Fortunately The Godfather does not suffer from an emphasis on the wrong priorities in life, it shows the characters in difficult circumstances, the immutability of which is set by default.
God of his family.
Not a stickler for tradition, as it may seem, nor an unjust judge. Vito Corleone is arrogant, pretentious, and does not seek peace with the other powerful families of New York, nor does he seek equality with any of his partners and friends. Vito’s understanding of friendship is skewed by an understanding of gratitude; he calls friendship a favor in return for a favor rendered, and considers as an expression of friendship a sincere request from a friend that he himself would never have accepted first. Vito listens to requests, but gives orders afterwards. Vito is only comfortable when the situation is completely in his hands, but he is not aggressive, he is subtly charismatic, tactful with anyone who is unhappy with his headship.
Don Corleone’s speech at the heads-of-family meeting presents him as understanding, friendly, but does not lessen the vise in which Vito holds the whole system of separation of powers. When the family heads offer to give him some spheres of influence, he asks them, “Have I ever refused a favor?” He is willing to share everything he possesses, but he won’t let anyone possess it himself. And his office is like a church where sinners come to confession to make amends for their sins.
The men, complaining to Don about the troubles and misfortunes of life, are like weeping children here, running to their breadwinner and protector. This renunciation of other people’s rules by striving to create their own rules without regard to tradition, enthroning themselves to the throne, binds Vito and Michael together. They both love their family, love it like an unexamined blind puppy to be fed and cared for, and they both want to see the world as their own, not themselves, belonging to the world.
The second part of the Godfather trilogy is a combination of two stories, Vito Corleone’s youth, the beginning of his ascent, and Michael Corleone’s maturation, his life as head of the family. There are parallels in these stories, but I found many more connections between Vito’s characters in Part I and Michael in Part II, Michael in Part I and Vito in Part II. Correspondingly comparing, Vito and Michael are very similar, ruling the family clan, Michael has the same pretentiousness and arrogance, the same prudence and determination–and young Michael and Vito are endowed with the same will to win. Young Vito explains and reveals his aged character from the first part, while Michael creates his character, already explained in the first part.
The unblooded son of an alien god, an indispensable part of the family. Not her mind, as it may seem, not her warrior, but her erudition. Tom Heigen is a lawyer who gives advice, found on the street as a child, warmed and henceforth devoted to the Corleone clan. He feels indebted, in part because everyone Vito has helped must feel that way. Tom’s gratitude is his incentive to work, which is why it is so hard for him to step away, even temporarily, from cases in which he could help. An American with Sicilian habits is an interesting character to say the least.
Women for the Gods.
The image of women in “The Godfather” is devoid of choice. Vito’s three sons were free to become what they wanted, his daughter being only someone’s wife, with no ambitions of her own. Women were not privy to the family, not allowed into the business, and had no right to ask questions on the subject. Family on one side, business on the other. The man is in between these elements, putting the family at mortal risk because of the business, but keeping her out of the business. The man demands from the woman an often unjustified trust and non-interference in the decisions on which her life may depend. The chauvinistic Italian tradition has made “Godfather” women slaves, and the business tradition has made women widows.
II. About the plot.
It’s an interesting combination of a film about destinies and a film of one story. “The Godfather” is essentially about an ordinary episode in the lives of several powerful families, from the perspective of one of them. In an established business and divided between the Fathers influence, a new source of income appears: the drug trade. It promises a fantastic income and promises those who agree to engage in it, the possibility of one-man power. However, this new business has a number of disadvantages: while bringing profits, it scares away politicians and police, who will not be as easy to buy as in the case of gambling houses or alcohol. In addition, some heads of households are disgusted by the sale of lethal powder. “It’s a dirty business.
Some families are negative about the drug business and want to discourage it so they don’t go bankrupt, while other families see a future in the drug business and are ready to take it on. Some stay on the sidelines, while others join the war. An interesting character – Turok, a drug dealer – suspiciously resembling Efim Shifrin, serves as a catalyst in the carnage, pushing those who want to do business with him to eliminate those who want to limit his business in America. The fragile peace is disrupted by a whiff of power and greed. “I am a new generation man” (c).
In this three-hour adaptation of this story, clothed in authentic (most likely) Italian tradition, Puso and Coppola have managed to show not only and not so much the history of the families’ war, but the history of the family’s people. While the story of the war doesn’t seem to be any, unfinished or unrevealed, everything here is in its place, optimally woven into an unhurried plot, saturated with a brutal atmosphere of logical murders where nothing is personal, just business. Just money.
The best Mafia movie.
See next part: The Godfather Part II 4K 1974
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (59.3 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital Mono
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital Mono
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1
Italian: Dolby Digital Mono
Japanese: Dolby Digital Mono
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Note: Spanish Latinoamerica, Portuguese=Brasil
English, English SDH, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish, Spanish (Latin American), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish.