:: "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." ::
I've had the Godfather trilogy with me for quite some time already.
Godfather and the subsequent sequels have been
Highly ranked on the IMDB Top 250.
But I never found time to watch it.
Until last weekend.
We have known each other many years,
but this is the first time you've come to me for counsel or for help.
I can't remember the last time you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee,
even though my wife is godmother to your only child.
But let's be frank here.
You never wanted my friendship.
And you feared to be in my debt.
I didn't want to get into trouble.
You found paradise in America.
You had a good trade, you made a good living.
The police protected you and there were courts of law.
So you didn't need a friend like me.
Now you come and say "Don Corleone, give me justice."
But you don't ask with respect.
You don't offer friendship.
You don't even think to call me "Godfather."
You come into my house on the day my daughter is
to be married and you ask me to do murder - for money.
I ask you for justice.
That is not justice. Your daughter is alive.
Let them suffer then as she suffers.
[the Don is silent]
How much shall I pay you?
[the Don turns away dismissively, but Bonasera stays on]
Bonasera, Bonasera, what have I ever done to make you
treat me so disrespectfully?
If you'd come to me in friendship,
this scum who ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day.
And if by some chance an honest man like yourself made
enemies they would become my enemies.
And then, they would fear you.
Be my friend... Godfather.
[the Don at first shrugs, but upon hearing the
title he lifts his hand, and a humbled Bonasera kisses the ring on it]
[He places his hand around Bonasera in a paternal gesture]
Some day, and that day may never come,
I will call upon you to do a service for me.
But until that day, consider this justice a gift on my daughter's wedding day.
[a gratified Bonasera offers his thanks and leaves]
[to Hagen] Give this job to Clemenza.
I want reliable people, people who aren't going to be carried away.
I mean, we're not murderers, in spite of what this undertaker thinks...
The Godfather and The Godfather II
(Each movie lasted about 3hours or more)
Must have meant different things to different people.
While it depicts the epic story of a Mafia family,
My takeaway from the movie, was based on the interwoven
Layers of family kinship, friendship, and business relationships
Prevalent in the movie plot. As Don Corleone faded away,
And eldest son Sonny was assassinated, youngest son
Michael, a celebrated second World War war-hero
Who was just back in town and happily courting
Jay, his new girlfriend, had to assume
His new role in the family business.
What intrigued me, throughout the movie, was Michael.
As the kingpin, he orchestrated the rise of the Corleone family,
Plotting murders of the people around him, and those that
Opposed him, one by one. I asked myself,
"Would I do that, if I were him?"
"If not, was there a better solution?"
I came to the conclusion that there may possibly
Be no easier way. As I moved from Godfather to the sequel,
I saw Michael continuing to assert his position, as enemies and
Plotters, as well as the weak and the foolish,
All met their ends. Eventually, Jay, Michael's wife
Aborted their third baby, and Jay ran away from Michael.
Again, I asked if there would be an easier way.
Or a "more correct way," to, put it simply.
Could a person, made to assume a leadership position
Of power, also, tantamount to his family's survivial
Do otherwise? When we are ushered to the throne
And crowns are put on our heads, do we
Still do what we usually do?
Do we make choices for us as individuals?
Or do we make choices for a larger whole?
For the family? For the clan?
And for the nation?
Towards the end of The Godfather II,
There was a flashback to a dinner scene,
When Michael told his brothers that he was enlisting
With the marines, to fight the war, much to the chagrin
Of his elder hot-blooded brother, Sonny.
It was a simple scene, which did not seem related
To the movie or the flow of the movie.
But I felt that it was a very important scene.
It depicted, a scene of innocence.
It depicted, a scene where Michael still had a choice.
And perhaps implies that Michael, and everyone else
Were victims of circumstances?
x x x x x x
In fact, this flashback shouted Rosebud" to me.
Like the ending of Citizen Kane.
I cannot elaborate more, but the feeling
Evoked from a movie, or a tale, that contrasts
The tainted protagonist, or the effected protagonist,
From his or her former innocent or pre-tainted self
Is cathartic ~ it is the best portrayal of the
Human self. For we are, somewhat,
Just like Michael, and everyone else
Bound by the ties that we bear.
x x x x x x