Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part II, 1974
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Nominated for 11 Oscars, Won 6
Wins Include: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (De Niro), Best Art Direction, Best Original Score

To put it simply, Part II shows us the origins of Don Vito, escaping Sicily and growing up in New York, and about his son Michael and his rise/fall as the new head of the "family".

I'm just going to put it out there; I know Part II is considered a classic, and some even say it's better than Part I. But personally, I felt this was a little pointless. It was alright in terms of the story, and didn't seem to tell us tons that really added into the story of the Corleone family. Yes, the best part of the film was the original Godfather's origins (played superbly by Robert di Nero). But Michael's story felt bland in comparison. Michael was a character I felt hardly any emotions or sympathy for, because he did not portray either of these himself whatsoever. Michael was incredibly distant, and unemotional. Which ultimately leads to, at the same time, his rise in the head of the Family, but a crashing in his own family.

Additionally, when it comes to gangster/mob/crime films, I do expect a little bit of action. Part I had a great amount, and balanced the talking with the action. Whereas I felt Part II did not. When it was Michael's story, all it was was talking, and lying, and betraying. Michael trying to protect himself rather than protect his family.

The origins of Vito is played in contrast to Michael's story. We see Vito rising and gaining respect through cleverness, and being able to repay a favour. Yes, violence was included, but we did not see it very much. Whereas Michael is "rising" because he kills anyone who gets in his way and is a danger to his own life and image. Which is quite the different legacy that his father had. Vito came to America, struggling to survive and built up an Empire. He did what he did to provide for his family, and to protect them. Whereas Michael came from a world of privilege and builds his legacy upon trying to prove himself in his family- a family he seems to always try to distance himself from.

Yes, the acting was well done. The music was great and the costumes and set were great, but I felt this movie lacked any sort of emotion or connection. Maybe that was the point, I don't know. All I know is the second installment was a lot slower, a lot less engaged and a lot less dramatic.

Acting- 9/10 
Directing- 8/10 
Screenplay- 7.5/10 
Visuals- 8/10 

Music- 8.5/10 
Emotional Connection- 5.5/10 
Entertainment- 6.75/10 
Rewatchability- 6.5/10 
Overall Enjoyment- 6.75/10 

Overall Package- 7.5/10     

Total: 74/100

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