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Friendship and Money… Oil and Water…

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

I can get quickly excited by The Godfather (1972), telling the story of a man who makes possible the sort of justice that the law can't provide. The soothing atmosphere of the opening scene is remarkable; the lighting, dialogue, and facial expression that Marlon Brandon shows in his role as Vito Corleone, The head of one of the most dangerous mafias from New York. Moreover, many people around him considered the Godfather's methods out of morality. It's unlikely not to feel empathy for Vito when I see him so wise and worry about his family's future.

His values are a perfect example of honor and respect. He never had an enemy that Vito hadn't considered.

It's impressive but sad how Vito's family fell apart. Like in the case of Sonny, when I saw his anger through his eyes, I could see that his time had come. I imagined myself as Sonny, unarmed and completely lost. It makes me wonder what Sonny's thoughts were. Did he know they would go for him after the attempt against his father?

The transformation of Michael will always be mysterious to the public. Even though we know how Michael lost his first wife in an explosion, that was one of the main reasons he became more and more likely to be his father. Michael may not know how to balance his life as a father and head of his family and the business. Eventually, the sweet and good Michael we can see at the movie's beginning disappears after seeing his Sicilian wife blown up in a million pieces through his eyes. I'm sure that in his mind, he tells himself, "I will play by their rules."

The lighting supports it in terms of composition. Since a big part of the film takes place in Vito's office, there's almost always a closed window and tiny lamps make the characters dark but illuminate their faces just enough to see their expression. I could have appreciated different moods during the movie, since Vito's deep and dramatic conversations with Michael about the family's future and Sonny's violence toward his brother-in-law and sister's husband, who constantly beat her.

I would have expected nothing but revenge from Vito, but even when he got heartbroken for the loss of one of his sons, what he did was be wiser than everyone. He called for peace as far as nobody tried anything against him. They did, and they perished.

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