Analytical Critique of The Godfather I believe the reason that, “The Godfather”, is such a great film is because it lets audiences decide whether they like the characters or not. Too many movies made about organized crime begin with some seemingly random act of violence. “The Godfather”, however, lets it be known from the start to judge the characters in the film based on what type of person they are instead of the criminal activities they may engage in. The film begins with a wedding, and this setting sets the stage for the basic theme of the movie, which is family. “The Godfather”, isn’t necessarily about organized crime. Crime is merely the family business, and crime is the way in which the author of the novel in which this film is based on used to set up the interactions and conflicts between the members of the Corleone family.
In fact, this film could probably work even without the Mafia themes. At heart it is just a movie about the structure of a family from generation to generation. The themes of the film are timeless, but the historical period in which the film takes place is also very significant. As the movie begins, the family’s youngest son has just recently returned from World War II.
As the movie progresses, parallels are made between the Corleone family and the rest of the world. The war between the rival families is much like the conflicts between nations during World War II. After Don Corleone is shot in the streets, it’s a wake up call to the rest of the family that he will not live forever. Thus begins a period of transition for the Corleone family as attention is shifted towards the future of the family business. What also astounds me with this film is that while it is set in the 1940’s, it still looks as if it could believably take place in almost any part of the twentieth century. Another major theme in the movie is loyalty.
Realism and Idealism for the Godfather will never forget what I felt when I first seen my first mobster movie, I was about 12 years old, it was real late at night and I just could not fall asleep. I was flipping the channels looking for something to watch, and that is when I encountered my first mobster movie. I was intrigued from beginning to end; it was like nothing I had ever seen before. The ...
While Don Corleone is in the hospital recovering from the shooting, his youngest son Michael feels that it his is obligation to his family to seek revenge against whomever harmed his father. To enact his revenge, Michael decides to kill two men himself that he considers to be threats to his family. His responsibility to his family is so important to him that after the men are killed; he does not tell his girlfriend about the incident because it may compromise the family business. The title of the film also has significance. Towards the beginning, you get the sense that the title refers to Don Corleone.
But when all is said and done, you truly understand that the title was actually referring to Michael’s rise to become the head of the family. Michael’s transformation in the film is so realistically gradual it is somewhat difficult to pinpoint the moment in which his life dramatically changes. At the beginning, Michael is seen sitting on a bench in a childlike position. Presumably this is to convey the innocence that Michael has about the business that his family conducts. The one relatively minor flaw that I see in this movie is regarding Michael’s innocence.
I don’t understand how someone who is supposed to have just returned from World War II could be so na ” ive that he could seem almost childlike. Nevertheless, it does provide a good example to compare Michael at the beginning and end of the film. In the closing scene of the film, Michael looks cold and uncompromising as he assumes responsibility of the family business. This is a far cry from the man sitting on the park bench in the beginning.
Regarding the photography of the film, I noticed how almost every scene in the movie looks as if the action is taking place in a room without any lighting. The exceptions to this being the wedding and some of the scenes in which Michael is in Sicily. I believe these two scenes are well lit compared to the others because they show times in the characters’ lives when they are happier than they are through most of the film. The wedding is obviously well lit because it is a joyous occasion where the Corleone can turn their focus away from crime for the day. That is of course, with the exception of the opening scene of the movie in which Don Corleone is listening to the requests for favors that are being brought to him that day. The scenes in Sicily are well lit because Michael has a chance to get away from the stress of being part of the Corleone family.
Comparison of the Characters Michael Sonny in "The Godfather " At a first glance Michael and Sonny appear to be quite different. Upon further observation, however, they do have some similarities. Although they are very different in their personality, values, and tempers, they are similar in areas of loyalty, their respect for their father, and their strong family ties. Their personalities are a ...
They also reflect the feeling that Michael has for Appolonia, the Sicilian girl that he marries. That happiness is short-lived, as she is killed in an explosion soon after the wedding. With Appolonia’s death, Michael awakes in a dark room that reflects the grief he is experiencing at the time. While everything mentioned above is significant, the most important aspect of “The Godfather’s”, enduring greatness is its influence.
Every reasonably entertaining crime movie that has come out over the last thirty years has had to compete with, “The Godfather.” And that may be the most accurate way to tell if a movie is a true masterpiece or not, the impact it has had on later filmmakers. Considering the number of crime movies that have been released over the last thirty years, and almost every one of them borrows some elements from, “The Godfather”, this film’s influence is almost immeasurable.