Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Godfather - Category: Movies, Books

"I am gonna make you an offer that you can't refuse" the Godfather would say. Mario Puzo made us an offer that nobody could refuse. The amazing story of the Corleones. The Godfather.

I cannot decide which is better, the movie adaptations (Part 1 and 2) directed by Coppola or the book authored by Puzo.

The novel by Mario Puzo is a masterpiece. It is a must read for anyone with a penchant for stories related to the Mafia or the Cosa Nostra, as they are referred to. For anyone curious about the book (if you haven't already read it i.e) , you will find the details here. All i can say is that it is one of those books that you wouldn't want to put down once you start it. Which is big deal for me, as i have this habit of starting a book, dumping it midway and then taking it up again later when i feel like it. But not with this one, for sure. The novel has more details on the lives of characters like Luca Brasi, Johnny Fontane, Lucy Mancini as compared to the movie, which understandably focuses more on the main protagonists than the secondary characters. To sum it up, it is a must read. So either grab a copy from your nearest bookstore or i can lend you one.

The movie, whose screenplay was written by Mario Puzo himself, is a cult classic mainly because of the crisp editing, smooth direction by Francis Ford Coppola and most importantly, fine performances by the lead as well as the supporting cast. Al Pacino brilliantly portrayed the role of Michael Corleone in the trilogy, and i find it surprising that he never won an Academy Award for his roles. Perhaps it could be because of the fact that he was overshadowed by Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone in Part 1 and by Robert De Niro portraying the younger Vito Corleone in Part 2. Or perhaps, we always found the large-hearted father more intriguing than the calculating son.

Out of the two movies, i would dare say that the second one is marginally better than the first;mainly for two reasons. First, Coppola's depiction of the parallels in the father's early life and his son's ongoing battles is flawless. The transition is ultra smooth and you don't get a feeling that as a viewer, you are being forced to find parallels when the story keep swaying back and forth. Second, the rise and fall of characters such as Pentangeli, Hyman Roth and Fredo Corleone makes you marvel at the ingenuity of Puzo. Of course, the first one too had it's share of larger than life characters such as Sonny Corleone, Sollozzo and last but not the least, the dreaded Luca Brasi. But still, i prefer the second one.

I have probably watched these movies so many times that i have most of the dialogues memorized. They have been hailed amongst the greatest movies ever made.So that qualifies them as must watch for all the movie connoisseurs who haven't seen these yet. Trust me.

Post Script: This series, be it the movie or the book has been a personal favourite since many years now. I enjoy anything even remotely related to it, be it the music, the cult dialogues ("Luca Brasi lies with the fishes") and even the PC game by EA sports. The game can be rated 6/10 overall but the mere fact that it is based on the series, makes it one of my favourites. Also, the third part of the trilogy was a very average movie and it is not worthy of comparison to the first two. So let's just leave it at that.


Ravi said...

Had read the novel a long time back! Rightly said, the 2nd movie was the best of the trilogy with all three actors Brando, De Niro and Pacino in full form.(If there is such term about actors and acting :P)
The background score of the movie just keeps playing in your mind the moment you think of the movie :)

Binesh said...

All the three in part 2!! How did i miss Brando?? :p
Buddy looks like you took whisky instead of soda for this movie ;)


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