The Godfather Part II - The Coppola Restoration
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(Feb 03, 2015)
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Much of the power of the second film comes from the contrast between the two stories. As Vito Corleone grows in power, he also grows as a family man, in both the sense of a father with children and a wife and in the extended sense in his role as Godfather. He becomes the center of a community, drawing others around him. But the other story, of the decay of all that Vito had built up through the leadership of Michael, betrays all the realities undergirding the delusions riddling Vito Corleone's Family. The rot and decay that characterizes Michael's reign are shown as the natural and inescapable result of the greed that drove the lives of those in the crime organization.Read more ›
Coppola creates a fascinating film study of Father and Son, as he compares and contrasts the middle-aged Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) and the young Vito Corleone (Robert DeNiro) as the former falls from authority into corruption and decline and the latter rises from obscurity to strength and power.
In two brilliantly crafted parallel period tales spanning the twentieth century, we watch the Father create a self-contained universe centered around Family, while the Son slowly destroys what his Father hath wrought.
DeNiro's Vito Corleone begins life as a frightened immigrant child fleeing a vendetta in Sicily; at his apotheosis, in an act of filial piety he kills Don Ciccio, the man responsible for his own father's, mother's and brother's deaths. Pacino's Michael Corleone begins the film at the height of his powers, then falls deeper and deeper into his own internal darkness. At his nadir, in an act of complete abnegation, he kills his own misguided brother, Fredo (John Cazale).
The difference between them is manifest in that while Don Vito kills only two men (the aforementioned Don Ciccio, and Don Fanucci, a neighborhood predator who takes away Vito's job as a grocery clerk, leaving him unable to feed his Family and driving him into a life of crime), Don Michael is drenched in the blood of other men.Read more ›
Listed in the #3 slot in the IMDB Top 250 All-Time, "The Godfather, Part II" is an even more ambitious film than the original. So ambitious, in fact, that many fans of the "Godfather" films feel it may actually be superior to the original. I do not share that opinion. At best, I feel it is just as good as the original. At worst, it is just a tiny bit less of a film than "...Part I". I feel that, while "...Part II" is more ambitious, it lacks the grand scale of the original, especially in the scenes involving Michael Corleone's (Al Pacino) control of the family 'business' in the late 1950's. This is hardly a criticism, though. In fact, the lack of grand scale of this 'family' is symbolic of how Michael's chilling rule has wrecked was the family once was, instead of being indicative of lackluster filmmaking.
Director Francis Ford Coppola took a risky, but ultimately reward, approach to the story of "The Godfather, Part II". He wanted to tell the story of a young Vito Corleone's (played by Robert DeNiro here) rise to power simultaneously with his son Michael's fall from grace some 40 years apart. The two parallel stories have a marvelous interplay with one another.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Broadly speaking, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II is primarily about two characters and how they grow and develop: Vito Corleone (the Godfather) and son Michael Corleone. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Andrew Mcdonald
A perfect sequel to the original Part 1 where it describes the birth of Vito Corleone. Brilliant performance by Al Pacino.Published 19 days ago by Soumya Mitra