“The Godfather:” A classic film review


Evan Mitchell , Features Writer and Columnist

“The Godfather”

“The Godfather” is one of the all-time classic crime movies, and for good reason.  The film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, has gone down in history as one of the greatest films.  The crime/drama movie pushes you into the life of organized crime, family, loyalty, betrayal, and business.  I had always heard about the greatness of this movie, and I had seen many Don Corleone impressions, but it wasn’t until I watched the movie that I witnessed the phenomenal writing, which is truly immersive, and makes the film’s long runtime seems like but a fleeting moment.

“The Godfather” is about an organized family of crime in upstate New York, called the Corleones.   Marlon Brando performs as Don ( boss) Vito Corleone, who is the head of the business and family.  He is all about respect, family, and loyalty.  That is how he runs his business, and that is why he is the godfather.  The movie opens on the day of Don Corleone’s daughter’s wedding, this brings the family together, including the younger brother Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), who is not interested in working in his father’s business.  The movie follows the progression of the life of Michael Corleone and his eventual rise to Don Corleone.  The film does two things perfectly right.

Character development.  In the film, you see the characters develop through the situations that surround them, and how they are affected by those situations.  The eldest brother, Sonny, is shown as reactionary and passionate when his father is shot, and he wants action against the perpetrators, but he develops as caring, especially for his family, when he gets revenge for his sister, who was beaten by her husband.  Michael has the most development in the film, going from a wantful exclusion to the family business, to controlling the family business.  The film does this by slowly pushing Michael into the life of his father.  He encroaches the life slowly, doing one job to protect his father out of the kindness of his heart, to discussing plans, to killing rivals.  It is an excellent development of all the characters that make them feel real to the viewer.

Subtlety.  The film uses subtlety masterfully in this film, allowing the viewer to piece together parts of the history, or story for themselves without having exposition shoved in their faces.  They don’t give you any explanation as to what the family does for income, instead, they let you find out for yourself as you are watching.  They don’t tell you about the other families, instead, you see their actions later in the film.  The film lets you create the image as you watch the film which gives it an even greater sense of reality and immersion.

“The Godfather” is a classic, and it deserves the title of classic.  The film grabs the viewer and walks them through a story full of intensity.  “The Godfather” feels real, and that is one thing that makes it truly amazing.  You feel as though the family could be real, and that this story could very easily be true.  “The Godfather” is a film that everybody should at least watch once because it’s an offer they can’t refuse.