Be warned, the above trailer contains multiple spoilers
A Magnificent Cinematic Masterpiece
The Godfather is one of those timeless movies that stands as a benchmark for how to craft a true epic that can stand the test of time. Boasting a colourful host of characters, amazing plot twists within its sprawling storyline and impressive cinematography, The Godfather is a classic and easily one of the best crime films ever released. While there are slower moments here and some of the editing feels a little dated, the sheer visceral shock to each individual death and the absorbing storyline are enough to overlook this in what’s otherwise a magnificent film.
The story plays out like a crime-style coming-of-age with Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) in charge of a vast criminal empire while his reluctant son Michael (Al Pacino) refuses to become entangled in the family business, instead deciding to stick to the straight and narrow. After a tragedy strikes the family, Michael is forced to make a choice and what ensues is a tale of vengeance as he takes up his father’s position as head of the family and tries to navigate the murky criminal underworld rife with backstabbing, double crossing and shady characters. Throughout the film numerous twists and turns keep this unpredictability at an all time high which in turn makes much of The Godfather wracked in suffocating tension, much to the plot’s benefit.
All of this is made ever more convincing from the impressive performances from the entire cast. It would be unfair to single out one or two people here but suffice to say every characters does a magnificent job bringing their respective personas to life. It’s rare to find such an array of talent in a film like this but The Godfather pulls off this feat effortlessly, managing to deliver deliberate bites of hard-hitting dialogue in every scene. It’s surprising too as a lot of these lines of dialogue hold up just as powerfully today as when this was first released back in the 70s.
Aesthetically the film looks great. There’s a distinct feel to the editing too with many of the shots blended by fades in and out of the various scenes and the accompanying soundtrack helping to give the film a slight Italian flavour to it. There’s some really fascinating juxtapositions throughout this 3 hour film and whether it be the contrast of a wedding and funeral placed at the beginning and end of the film or the visceral, brutal murders shown in gruesome detail while other characters embark on significant moments in their personal lives, The Godfather is a film made with real care and is quite the ride from start to finish.
If you haven’t seen The Godfather yet you really owe it to yourself to check this one out. Everything about this film is near perfection and even if crime dramas aren’t your thing, it’s hard not to be impressed with what’s been achieved here. Whether The Godfather will go down as the best film ever made is obviously open for interpretation but from a cinematic perspective, it’s hard to knock this ambitious, staggering epic that manages to craft one of the best films of this generation.
Verdict - 10/10