At long last, I have seen this marvelous, historic, must-see film--The Godfather (1972)--and I want a refund.
First let me put a positive spin on my comments. I'm not flatly denying that it's a historic or great film--maybe it is. But is it the way of great films to leave the viewer confused, depressed, and none the better for the viewing experience? Aren't great films supposed to at least give one a new way of looking at a certain matter, or showing us new and better ways of life? If so, this films fails dismally. Was Mr. Coppola's purpose to show how violence corrodes every bit of authority and social structure it touches? that Mafia-style structures inevitably spiral into deeper crime and greater violence? Or was it supposed to be a modern Brothers Karamazov story in which brothers of differing characters come to maturity? Whatever the case, I failed to receive any new insights into the life of crime. It stinks, basically--but I already knew that.
The film's main characters are men, and only men--suit-wearing, gun-toting men with Italian names. In fact, I found them so similar that I had difficulty figuring out who was who and finally gave up trying to keep track. It didn't seem to make much difference who was who anyway, since they make a habit of crossing and double-crossing each other when they think they can benefit. Seen in that way, it didn't much matter who got killed; they were all equally criminals--even the bribed police officers.
This film includes many of the elements that make a movie repellent to me--repeated graphic violence (probably at least a dozen on-screen murders, not to mention domestic abuse), nudity, and even a dash of profanity. The overly long film (evidently only the first in a trilogy) ends with Michael, who is apparently supposed to be the main character and is now the new ringleader of the family crime ring, blatantly lies to his second wife about how he caused the murder of his brother-in-law. The end. Is that somehow supposed to motivate me to watch the second and third crime- and gore-fests? Sorry, but I completely fail to see the appeal.
To these comments please add my own bias. I have rarely viewed an R-rated film, mainly because I think the film must give something to the viewer that outweighs the negatives of "adult" material such as graphic violence and nudity. This film had nothing to offer that was valuable enough to offset the R-rated material, IMO.
Rated 2 stars out of 5; not lower simply because there were a few innovative camera techniques and a few interesting bits on culture in Italy tucked in between crimes.
posted 10 months ago. ( permalink )