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The 1972 American crime drama

The 1972 American crime drama, by name, The Godfather, is a famous and well-structured movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It was made out of the novel by the same name written by Mario Puzo in 1969. It tells the story of an Italian-American family by name Corleone and spans out the period between 1945 and 1955. The film had its second sequel in 1974 and its third sequel came out in 1990. The Academy Awards for the Best Picture, the Best Adapted Screenplay and the Best Actor came in its way.

Much more was the acceptance the movie got in the hearts of peoples around the world that itt was quite rightly ranked as the second greatest film in the cinematic history of America. The characters of the novel and the stars of the movie are so framed and kept powerful that those characters remain very live in the minds of its viewers even after decades. Two such characters of the film are Vito Corleone, and his son, Michael Corleone. Their personalities provide a movement and direction to its plot.

Vito and Michael are can be considered contrasting and continuing characters that cover up crime with dignified attitude. Body of the Essay (Vito Corleone versus Michael Corleone) All is affluence, and people move around in wealth and charms at the opening scene of the film. But, always, insecurity takes over and rules over the hearts of people if life is in a background of crime. The mafia world, its discipline, pomp and vanity, superfluous relations and the selfish character that pervades human relations are all well brought to highlight through the picturesque depiction of scenes and shots of events in the film.

The first contrast shown between the two, namely, Vito and Michael, is that they are father and the son, a difference of age and experience, corruption and innocence, tradition and novelty. It is not merely a contrast of age and experience. As generations flow from one to another there is disgust with crime and longing to get out of it. Michael doesn’t want to pursue the line of crime he inherited from his father’s mafia heritage. Son of a saddler doesn’t need to be a saddler, and son of a singer doesn’t need to be singer as well. The drug dealer Virgil Sollozzo become furious with the don of the mafia family and the don is nearly dead.

Where the father fails, the son rises like a war hero with his enigmatic character. Michael is cunning, intelligent, and loyal to his family. He holds courage, firmness and strength in character. Michael is really loyal to his family. It is shown by his firm commitment to fight against the enemies of his father. He doesn’t hesitate to annihilate them. In it he strongly conveys his warrior spirituality. For a soldier on the war-front, any enemy is not his own enemy but the enemy of his country for which he stands. It is not individual preferences that matter here, but the commitment. It is all a business and there is nothing personal in it.

The Killing of Sollozzo and McCluskey by Michael in the meeting is to be interpreted thus. When Vito Corleone is sinking in the hospital after the gunshot, Michel is in full vigour fighting for his father. Michael is cunning and he executes his plan over the enemies tactfully. The scene of baptismal ceremony is an apt example for it. He doesn’t want to be stamped as a criminal, but rather, moves in the social circle in public, and plans the crime so well that he is able to cover everything up and is reckoned as a gentleman. He is able to execute his judgement upon the enemies before they are able to shower their wrath upon him.

While weakness characterizes with old age in the matter of Vito Corleone his father, Michael’s traits are strength and firmness. He is able to carry out what he thinks. Many people think out, but nothing comes to take shape by their thought. Thought flowers but may not bear fruit. Michael is not so. He does what he thinks he should do. His own relative, Tessio and his own brother-n- law, Carlo are not excluded with sympathy from his determination to annihilate the enemies. Relation doesn’t sway his decision. All in a moment he assumes power, takes leadership, and demand respect in the mafia world around him.

May be a bit of heritage runs through his veins in this regard, and he is truly a son to his father. Michael shows respect for the traditions of his family and the principles taught by his father Vito. Moreover, he values the goals of the organization and respects its members. There is a beautiful scene ttowards the end of the movie; while Kay, Michael’s wife watches, Clemenza and new caporegime Rocco Lampone pay their respects to Michael, kissing his hand and addressing him as “Don Corleone”. It means that now Michael is on the way to be the next don of the mafia assuming the crown and sceptre of mafia kingdom.

Now on, he is truly a Godfather. The flashback story of Vito Corleone’s early life becomes a theme in the second sequel of the film. It depicts circumstances under which he immigrated to America, his early family life and the murder of Don Fanucci, and his ascension to power as the don of the mafia kingdom in the New York City area. Ito is depicted as an ambitious Italian immigrant. Though he is a don to the mafia family he keeps his honour and code of conduct. In this respect both the father (Vito) and the son (Michael) are more or less keeping in line with each other.

Dignity is never at stake for both of them. Both of them show up their characters as characters of dignity though in the outset of terror and bloodshed. Vito’s death and suffering show that crime always pays back with a fate of worries and ultimately death in the hands of enemies. Vito dies of a heart attack (it might be considered as signifying the prick of conscience that is associated with crime) The only difference that happens at the end of the film is that crime changes hands and there is a feeling that death awaits the one who is enthroned on the royal chambers of the mafia family.

Conclusion Everybody knows that peace doesn’t arise from bloodshed or perpetuated enmity. However there are not many who stay away from crime and bloodshed when their rights or privileges are violated and neglected. They often assume that peace can be achieved through violence. But history shows that no violence can bring peace and crime breeds crime only. Once been immersed into the world of crimes it becomes very difficult for a person to get out of it as crime entangles the person so much so that it gets perpetuated.

Vito’s last words do convey that even with all these experiences of troubles he is not a troubled one. He enjoys life to the core and proclaims: ‘Life is so beautiful’. Beauty dwells in the eyes of man rather than in his experiences or eventualities of life. The way one looks at things matter more than the way things really are.


Cf. The Godfather, film. Cf. http://www. bukisa. com/articles/13988_the-godfather-dissecting-michael-corleone Cf. wikipedia

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