This year for our Boxing Day film marathon we decided to do a little film study while enjoying our time together. Instead of just re-watching something we'd seen before, we thought we would finally get around to watching what is widely considered one of the very best films of all time – The Godfather (and it's sequels). It didn't take quite as long as last year's LOTR marathon, but we still didn't finish until after 1am (although that had more to do with the time it took us to prepare a yummy stuffed roast leg of lamb for dinner).
Was it worth it? yeah. Watching the Godfather was very rewarding. It had such an intricate plot that we really needed subtitles on just to make sure we didn't miss anything – especially in the second film.
Well, if we're being honest, we kind of messed up with the first part. We watched a version that didn't have subtitles – not even in the Italian sections. So it was a little frustrating for me, and even more so for Junkii who had more trouble understanding dialogue. But we muddled through it together, pausing and replaying scenes we had trouble with. For the second and third parts we ran to the video store and rented the newly released and restored Blu-Ray editions. We threw on the subtitles and, voila! A much simpler film viewing experience.
As for the film – it felt like something complete. It wasn't simply a bunch of disconnected scenes from a life, like Goodfellas – another highly regarded mob movie that I personally found dreadfully hard to get through. Godfather had more than just an interesting story arc though. The actors did a fabulous job developing their characters. Al Paccino (Michael) and Talia Shire (Connie) were especially good over the course of the three films, and Andy Garcia (Vincent) in the third part did amazing work. We were both impressed with the way these characters changed, in a very believable way, through the course of their lives.
Okay, the 2nd and 3rd parts had their flaws – the flashback sequences in part 2 for instance could have been eliminated entirely in our opinion – and yes, it was a bit slow in places, but overall we both really enjoyed the trilogy. For me, that says a lot because honestly I've never been a fan of mob dramas.
Would we watch it again? probably not – at least not as a trilogy. But it was definitely time well-spent. Next year we'll have to find something else to watch. Or we might just go back to LOTR.