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The Godfather: Part II

The Godfather Part II

The biggest blind spot in my cinema watching resume has to be The Godfather Part II. At a daunting 3hrs22mins, it was always going to be a challenge to sit my ass down and just find time to watch a slow burn crime movie. I watched the first film in high school and yeah, it's a certified classic. All this talk about the sequel being better than the original, decades of sitting near the top of people's BEST OF lists...how in the world could this movie live up to the reputation it has received?

These films are all about family and what one will do to make sure that nothing breaks a family up. We see this when Michael refuses to let his wife leave him because he doesn't want her to take the kids away. Is this because he loves her and the kids? Maybe, but maybe the dark underlining to it is that he wants his family to continue the business, which is why he is so adamant on having a son. Must feel awkward for his one son right now, having his dad want more sons in an effort to continue the business because there might be a chance they die before taking over. Have a couple sons to choose from. Michael had two brothers, one died and one was passed over, so he sees his own future reflecting his own past.

My jaw hit the floor when Kay revealed disturbing details to Michael about their unborn child. Moments of violence can thrill people, disturb people or shock, but put two talented actors in a room, give them a well written scene and an emotionally distraught story element and you can have more success at garnering emotions from the viewer than anything else. The ending of the film reflects the ending to the original in a small way, having Michael eliminate his 'enemies'. We are then given one brief glimpse of a moment in their past when the Corleone was happy, waiting for a surprise party for their father. They all leave the table to give the surprise and Michael sits there alone, just like he is now. His family is essentially destroyed. These movies are really about the depressing nature of destroying families. Those measures that people will go to save a family, can ultimately destroy it.

Sure some elements were spoiled for me, which is the nature of the business when you watch a famous movie more than 40 years after the fact, but that doesn't limit the suspense or emotional impact of the scenes. Heck, I even thought that maybe I was wrong and things might turn out different, but in reality we are all watching a slow motion train wreck. Never be alone in the middle of nowhere with these people, chance are that two go in, one comes out.

I was invested in BOTH timelines. The film doesn't jump back and forth a lot, instead Coppola gives each sequence room to breathe and we are treated to elongated elements in both. At times you wonder which timeline is suppose to be the main story because we spend so much time with Vito. The flashback elements are used appropriately too, never once does Coppola try to fool us into thinking that Vito is in danger. We know he lives through this time because he's an old man in the original, so instead of false suspense scenes we get a character study and an understanding of how he became the man who knew from the original. The performance from DeNiro is great as well, mainly spoken in another language.

What I'm saying is stuff people have been saying for decades, so nothing new to really report. I'm telling you thinks you already know people. The movie is great. It's a huge blindspot for me so it was something I expect people to nominate and it is something that could have been nominated by anyone.

Now....do I watch the dreaded third? Hahahaha