Saturday, May 14, 2005

The Godfather (Parts 1,2 & 3)

cast: marlon brando, al pacino, robert duvall, james caan, diane keaton, talia shire, robert de niro, andy garcia, sophia coppola, joe mantegna, bridgett fonda

the reader might wonder why, when the length of a single episode of the godfather is around 3 hours, would i review it in its entirety. well first of all, it’s probably because i’m a huge baseball fan and the perfect number in baseball is 3. also, when you multiply the approximate 3 hours of each episode with the number of episodes (3), you get 9, the total number of innings in a baseball game. and as they say on espn, “we’re going 9!”

secondly, the godfather trilogy is so popular what with the first 2 parts garnering oscar awards and movie lovers listing it as one of their favorites of all time that i don’t feel the need to make a summary of the film. thus i will just talk about it in general terms.

and with that i ask you to lend me your eyes and your mind as i relate to you my critique ………

there is nothing oscar-worthy about the godfather movie (i will consider the trilogy as 1 whole so i will refer to it in the singular) except for the fact that it is very provocative. it challenges your senses; it tests your stomach’s capacity to take in blood and violence; it tickles your mind with regard to the good and bad points of the catholic religion, those who practice it, and those who implement it; it gives you food for thought as to why killers can be so religious and yet are not considered hypocrites.

but that’s basically it. the movie is a challenge to watch. it’s not a movie you would watch over and over unless you are so stupid and ego-deprived that you’d brag to people that you are the model of macho perfection, the epitome of masculinity and the personification of male toughness that you can watch the movie again and again.

the godfather character, from each generation – vito corleone (marlon brando), michael corleone (al pacino) and vincent corleone (andy garcia) – were all killers. and the movie portrays them like heroes; that we should idolize them.

this is a fictional movie based on a fictional book by mario puzo so there should be nothing wrong with this. but the problem is most moviegoers are not smart enough to be able to differentiate what is wrong with what is right. they may get confused when they see michael corleone, someone who kills, gets a medal from the vatican when you’re usual religious people don’t get any recognition.

maybe i can give the benefit of the doubt to readers of the book. after all, if they took the time to read it from cover to cover, they must at least be smart enough to read between the lines, detect the ironies, and appreciate the story for what it really is: a bunch of goons who are successful in life and respected by society because those are some of the qualities of a good read. besides, to read is to lead!

in an ideal (or perfect) world where everybody is smart and mature, this would be a very entertaining movie. however, since this is not the case, the movie proves to be dangerous to those who don’t have a firm grasp of ethics, those too uneducated to figure out what is right and what is wrong, those ignorant enough to attempt to make real everything that hollywood shows them.

1 of 5 stars *
only for the intellectually, emotionally and spiritually mature.


rob said...

Hey Roehl, I wasn't too fond of the Godfather movie series either. But don't let that detract you from reading the book, it is an excellent read and contains a lot of good parts left out in the movie.

I found the movies hard to follow, and did not have the same emotion as the book.

However, I don't think crime or mafia are the main themes of the movie/book. It is mostly about family, loyalty, and power.

roehl said...

yes, i've read and enjoyed the book. and yes, family, loyalty and power are the key concepts. i'm just saying it's not for everybody because a lot of people are just not that mature enough.