The Godfather is one of those not many movies, which capture people’s attention from the very first seconds. It does not take much time or efforts to comprehend the main theme of the movie, as well as its characters and even the style of the direction offered by Francis Ford Coppola. It is hard to think about some mistakes of shortages that could be possibly made by the director or the actors. The movie was investigated and analyzed by a number of critics and fans. It is defined as one of the greatest films of all times with a powerful cast and the best director. The construction of the movie is perfect, including the chosen dialogues, light, shots, and even costumes of the characters. There is a purpose in each movement and placement. *In this paper, the analysis of The Godfather’s construction and Coppola’s intents will be developed by explaining the choice of the setting, dialogues, light, and other details and focusing on its main themes, a family and justice, in order to demonstrate personal dedication to the movie and the work done by Coppola and the crew.*
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The magic of The Godfather’s construction is hard to neglect from the very beginning. Several seconds of the darkness at the beginning of the movie accompanied by the sounds of a trumpet cast some kind of a spell and make people think about their lives and goals not about the film. An Italian man speaks about the power of America, the importance of a family, and the necessity of justice in regards to those, who do not know how to respect traditions and consider ordinary human rights. A close-up shot with the Bonasera’s face and camera movements tells about the definite style of the movie. Strict phrases and a hopeless look prove the importance of a person Bonasera addresses to. Slow movements and the absence of emotions demonstrate the power of the character, who sits in front. In several minutes, the image of Don Corleone is perfectly introduced to the viewer. There is no need to tell something about the characters. The role of each character in the room is clear. Coppola’s intent is to show the story that does not have a certain beginning, but is characterized by a powerful ending and a good lesson.
Dark surrounding light, eye-to-eye communication, the order in the room and in each phrase spoken – all these details introduce a well-built and confident image of a don. Besides, his words about the importance of friendship, power, and justice prove Don Corleone as a good leader with strong analytical abilities and power. “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’” (The Godfather). The construction of the dialogue between Don Corleone and Bonasera depicts the whole nature of the movie – the Godfather could listen, understand what is expected of him, and offer help. In return, he asks for respect and recognition of his power. The phrase “Be my friend… Godfather” (The Godfather) and a kiss of the ring on Corleone’s hand turned out to be the classic episode for already several decades.
In terms of the dialogues and the relations developed between characters introduced in the movie, the director made a good portion of work. There is the same style and the same effects so that the viewer enjoys the history of the same family from different perspectives but under the same circumstances. The phrase “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” was another key in the movie (The Godfather). Neither specific light nor new sounds were used. The phrase was a part of the scene with a significant power that changed the attitude to the characters and the methods which had to be used. A final achievement of the director is the usage of different decorations and the necessity to present the stories at different places: houses of the main characters, restaurants, gardens, valleys, and streets. There are no monotone settings or boring views. Each shot and each scene have its purpose and a number of strong characters, interesting dialogues, and appropriate light.
The Godfather is not a classic movie about gangsters and their families. This movie is one of the best lessons any person could ever get. It is not enough to listen to the dialogues or to observe the setting. It is necessary to participate in everything that happens in front of the camera and be a part of the team introduced on the screen. Family relations, respect, friendship, fears, and death are perfectly interrelated in that Coppola’s masterpiece. Darkness used by the director and music introduce by the composer in the movie The Godfather show people a new world that is free from pride, prejudices, and fears, but full of sense, the analysis of what has been done, and the importance of the price people have to pay for the life they choose.
The Godfather. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, performances by Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duval, and Diane Keaton, Alfran Production, 1972.