- Film Festival
By Eileen Sheehan
This week I feel especially accomplished, for I have finally seen the movie that everyone on Earth has seen but me: The Godfather. No, I haven't seen The Godfather Part II yet, but the DVD is sitting right next to me as I type this. I promise that I will watch it as soon as possible. Give me a break.
Anyway, I'll confess I'd been putting off watching The Godfather for a while. Obviously I've been putting it off for 23 years, but more specifically I've been putting it off for the last week or so. I usually need to be in the right mood to watch a movie like The Godfather, so I'm glad I put it on at a time when I could really appreciate it.
As soon as Marlon Brando appears on screen, it's impossible not to feel his power as an actor and his power as Vito Corleone. Vito Corleone has become one of the most recognized and influential characters in cinema, and it's clear that Brando put all he had into his performance. And yet, he turned down the Oscar that year for Best Actor due to political reasons! I can say without a shred of doubt that if I am ever given an Oscar, I will not turn it down. Do you hear me, Academy? But anyway, since I had never seen the movie before, I had no idea that Vito gets shot and is almost killed by a rival group of mobsters. This, of course, shocked me, because how could the Don be killed so early in the film?! Isn't he the main character?! Of course, he doesn't die (until the end) and as the film progresses, Al Pacino's character of Michael begins to take center stage.
It's the development of Michael that is most interesting to me. When we first meet Michael at his sister's wedding, he is dressed in full World War II garb, tucked away in a quiet corner with his girlfriend. He explains to her some of the crimes his father and brothers have been responsible for but soothes her obvious distress. He has no intention of going into the "family business." That is, until Don Corelone is shot. It's then that Michael begins to change. He may not approve of what his father does, but he has is dedicated to his family, no matter what the circumstances are. Michael goes from a sweet, innocent young man with a legitimate future ahead of him to a ruthless and dangerous man, prepared to take down all who threaten his “family.” It becomes clear why Vito chooses Michael as his predecessor, and I'm excited to see how his story progresses. Who knows? I may even see The Godfather Part III, if only to see Sofia Coppola's brilliant performance.