Monday, December 12, 2005

The Godfather: Part I * * * * + Part II * * + Part III * * *

Marlon Brando as the Godfather is one of the most classic personas in movie history. He is just plain perfect and dominates the screen whenever he appears, and along with a strong and complicated plot the first movie is now a classic. I love the opening scene of the trilogy, when Bonasera comes out of the dark, and talks to Don Corleone. It just puts you directly into the mood of what this trilogy is all about:

I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom, but I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a boyfriend; not an Italian. She went to the movies with him; she stayed out late. I didn't protest. Two months ago, he took her for a drive, with another boyfriend. They made her drink whiskey. And then they tried to take advantage of her. She resisted. She kept her honor. So they beat her, like an animal. When I went to the hospital, her nose was a'broken. Her jaw was a'shattered, held together by wire. She couldn't even weep because of the pain. But I wept. Why did I weep? She was the light of my life beautiful girl. Now she will never be beautiful again. I went to the police, like a good American. These two boys were brought to trial. The judge sentenced them to three years in prison - suspended sentence. Suspended sentence! They went free that very day! I stood in the courtroom like a fool. And those two bastards, they smiled at me. Then I said to my wife, for justice, we must go to Don Corleone.

It was a blessing that we decided to end the movie season at the home theater with the Godfather. I had never watched the movies, and Stayros and Dimitri and Costas almost never had either.

We watched part I on Thursday. By the end I was astounded by all the complications and plot twists and characters that this movie was about. People say everyne likes this movie because it is so big that there is always something for everyone to like in it. I'll have to agree since the film works on so many levels and is so masterfully written that is hard to describe anything is a few sentences.

We watched part II the following day. I was dissappointed because a lot of things happened but the story didn't seem to make much sense. Pacino took over as the new Don, and De Niro depicted the young Vito (very clever idea). However at some point we were confused and at the end the movie didn't leave me the nice feeling I got from the first one.

We watched part III on Sunday, just me and Stayros. This part made more sense, it was slow and you had all the time in the world to focus and remember and compare with the old movies. As a single movie it's not that good, but as the last part it surely concludes nicely. The last scene is also just plain perfect, with Pacino dying old and alone in his old town in Sicily. As he was falling down from the chair, I thought that this was the perfect ending to the trilogy. A sad, bitter story that I will find hard to forget.
It's hard to see these movies often. They are great, but after finishing watching them you don't want to watch them again! Weird...