Monday, 9 July 2012

REVIEW: The Godfather (1972)

After my friend's suggestion, I watched one of those movies that always appears on those 'Top 10 Movies of All Time' Lists - The Godfather.

I feel like a lot of the film's brilliance was lost on me due to a number of reasons. One because I always have high expectations of acclaimed films such as this one. Secondly the film was way too long for someone who grew up in the internet age and rolls their eyes at a 20 minute YouTube video. It dragged on a bit and it was hard paying attention to everything.

And lastly not only do I have the attention span of a goldfish I'm also as deaf as No that's not right.... Well I always miss lines in movies and I'm one of those people that has to know what every single character, however minor, said at each second. Foreign accents just make it that much harder for me, so subtitles are my best friend even when I'm watching something in English. Actually not even foreign accents, as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button proved THAT wrong. So yeah, the rolling r's and mumbling crescendos of the sing-songy Sicilian accents were so very authentic but I felt like I missed a lot of important dialogue.

All in all, repeat viewings are in order methinks.

Marlon Brando really stood out as the titular godfather figure Don Corleone, an amazing characterisation from the get go with that limply hanging jaw (apparently Brando came up with that by putting cotton balls in his mouth) and all-knowing look he scrutinises everything with. And according to IMDB, he was only a few years older than the actors who played his sons, so cudos to hair and makeup.

Look at that deliciously dark chiaroscuro

The family dynamics between the Corleones was also played out very well and Al Pacino's Michael gradually transitioning from a reluctant bystander and foil to a key member of the gang operations was fascinating to observe.

And not just Al Pacino, amazing execution from all of the cast, many of whom looked so young and different that I didn't realise who they were until afterwards.

That's Diane Keaton, believe it or not. Yes you may pick up your jaw now.

I think a lot of the fun of watching this movie was also due to the fact that it was so famous and referenced that it became a game of 'spot the famous scene', with shouts of 'Oh my god! That scene! That sceeeennne! ...and that liiinne!'. It was fun to finally see them in context. Not gonna give anything away, but they're so famous you know...

TL;DR VERDICT: 4/5 stars, beautiful detailed epic with epic cast, a little drawn out though

In a gangster mood now, will probably try to watch the others in this trilogy and perhaps Scarface and Goodfellas too.

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