The Godfather: Part 2

A Commandment of powerful living. And a worthy sequel for a great movie.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Cast: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Year: 1974

Awards: 6 Academy Awards including the Best Picture. 

Genre: Crime, Drama

Based on the Novel, “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo.

The Godfather: Part 2, is indescribably the best sequel a movie of the Godfather standard can deserve. So much so that I feel it cannot be called a sequel but a set which completes the first movie. And, with a much stronger storyline than the prior. It is one of those rare movies which surpass the glory of their prequel.

Plot

Movie opens with the life of an Italian boy, Vito Corleone from his childhood and his rise as the Don in the US neighborhood. After his family is killed in Sicily by a local don, Vito is smuggled out to USA, where he grows up into a man with a loving wife and children. Grim circumstances lead him to become Don Vito Corleone, after he kills the local gangster Fannucio. Michael Corleone, the new Don and the flashbacks to the story of his father unravel the intricacies of the Family. He is looking forward to control the gambling empire in Nevada by taking over the casinos there. He faces challenges when the distant parts of the Corleone crime family end up in the wrong pie with his business associates. Following is the story of a family man who cannot trust his own or his associates, as he glimpses the ghastly consequences of this lucrative business idea. The family seems to crumble, as Michael starts having second thoughts with his life and gets uneasy with his wife, when ultimately he should continue strong for the sake of an unblemished future for his children. The story revolves around betrayal, conniving games and The Family. 

Likes & Dislikes

The movie is an astonishing tale of the bond in the family and the tests of time which finally unfold their true benevolence.It comes as a surprise to me, that best of directors sometimes fall short when it comes to a strong storytelling. But two stories different in their era, characters and situations have been masterfully directed by Francis Coppola with a simple yet profound storytelling. Screenplay owed to both Coppola and Mario Puzo, is very distinct and creates no ambiguity between the separate stories of Don Vito and Michael with a discernable emotional linkage with their families. The slightest of actions and their ghastly consequences are meticulous in their showcase. When they say, All the issues can be solved by communication, I’ll remember this movie. Since it has exemplified the wise words and the actions that follow. The Music is charming and soothing. But when the times change, the same can anticipate calamities. The movie needs a few more watches before commenting on anything subtle about it. 

The people who’ll dislike this movie will get a reason as big as 3hours and 20 minutes. To bear through an intense crime drama with a bafflingly detailed story and a slow pace needs steely patience and interest. The movie will seem like a focused study with a few leisure breaks. Better bunk it than stumble in between. 

What’s my Point?

5 times Academy Award winning director Francis Ford Coppola brings out a valuable contribution to cinema with Godfather 2. With the twisting Social Camaraderie and an intense predisposition for power, the movie is a classic on the carousel of greatest movies of all times.

Road to Perdition (2002)

Beautifully ominous but a borderline bore.

Sam Mendes has a unique skill of directing beautifully haunting movies. They have a melodious music, textured like A Calm amidst the Storm. Road to Perdition is a movie similar to “American Beauty” in its existential and emotionally revealing picture of a man’s life.

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Plot

A crime family, headed by Rooney lived far north in the times of Mob enforcement. Michael Sullivan is their trusted gun, leading a quiet and mysterious life with his wife and two young boys. The story is narrated by the elder son, Michael Sullivan Jr when he witnesses his father and Connor Rooney, the heir to the family, murder an associate. In a foul attempt to shut his mouth, Connor kills the younger son and the mother and attempts an assassination of Michael Sullivan. The son, now has to come to terms with his father’s dangerous profession and his tormented life. Ravaged by the news, Michael Sullivan devotes himself to protecting his son and vengeance for his family. Along the Road to Perdition, junior observes a previously unknown side of his father’s sentiments and his existential crisis. Where in, the father’s action however immoral and dangerous for both of them, leads to moment of an inexplicable truth and choice. Where he shall preserve his son’s conscience and redeem his future with the hopes of leading a better life than his.

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Likes and Dislikes

I’ve always had a special liking for movies of Sam Mendes. Be it the intrepid course of existentialism in “American Beauty” or the complex intricacies of a couple’s lives in “Revolutionary Road”, His movies are “Beautifully Haunting”. He displays his signature charms and idiosyncratic direction in this movie too. Tom Hanks is at his usual best throughout the strong events that shape the movie. The movie hooks in a strange way, where the storyline and the plot flow aren’t as important as their hidden emotional manifestations and metaphors.

The story had less of showcasing. Most of the times, the screen seems dull with no apparent use of the ongoing scene. With no elements of surprise or glamour till the end, the movie can come off as uneventful and boring. Certainly not a qualifier for the robust entertainer.

What’s My Point

With its simple plot and well-presented emotional and realistic content, Road to Perdition has a beautifully clear story and message. A good watch for anyone into graceful, story oriented movies with a hint of entertainment and room for afterthought.

 

The Recruit

A gripping, well paced thriller with good twists and spot on action.

I remember the first time I saw this movie. It was a pleasant change from the other thrillers i had watched then. With the right amount of flair, drama and deviousness, The Recruit is a fine choice for a well paced thriller and a story that’ll keep you at the edge of your seat.

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Plot

James Clayton is an expert hacker and a grade A cryptographer. He and his friends are into building server hacking softwares, which are retailed to interested companies at conventions. He makes a modest living as a part time bartender where he meets a mysteriously sharp witted man called Walter Burke. Walter introduces himself as a recruiter of CIA and invokes the interest of James to join CIA. After the preliminary elimination, the selected candidates are taken into the training institute of the agency. After a series of tests in both psychological and physical aspects, an unexpected bond develops between him and an ambitious woman Layla. After a grueling torture where James succumbs and gives out Walter’s identity in a CIA’s test for terrorist info extraction, he is terminated from CIA. But his life takes an unexpected twist, when Walter reveals to him that he is the chosen NOC(no official cover) agent and his assignment is to get close to Layla who is a double agent and retrieve a deadly computer virus which breaks down the entire system and results into a national emegency. The plot is thickening and James will realize he cannot trust anyone or anything he sees or hears except his own instinct. Nothing is what it seems like.

Likes & Dislikes

The well developed storyline is gripping and avoids major cliches which are evident in other thrillers. Al Pacino is devious and at his quick witted best. Colin Farell has a given a commendable performance which adds to the air of uncertainty and mis-judgement throughout the plot. The movie offers a set of great visuals and twists which set a mood for the exact action sequences. The movie takes the depiction of the Agency seriously and the story runs along the high tech, priviledged system of Langley accordingly.

The main fault i found with this movie is the absence of any room for further speculation. The movie once watched, hardly has much different opinions or perspectives to be offered during the next watch. The suspense fades along the repeated viewing. Something unlike other cult thrillers like Fight Club and The Departed. While the story might prevail, background score doesn’t accentuate the thrilling effects and often is dull and uneventful.

What’s my Point?

The movie comes off as a fairly complex suspense thriller without any redundant factors. A thrilling watch, where the plot provides a lasting memory and effect of the unique storyline and charisma the movie has to offer.

Be Back Hungry!