Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sight & Sound Challenge: The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Film: The Godfather: Part II (179/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: Rewatch

Has there ever been a better sequel? I might even say that it's a smidge stronger than its predecessor, with the story of Vito Corleone's childhood perfectly complementing his son Michael's continued rise to power. Scratch that, it's impossible for me to choose between the two. We rewatched the first two Godfather films a day apart, and I love watching them like that. Even more preferable is to watch one right after the other, if only to admire how incredibly these two work together. It's a complete story (we don't really need to talk about Part 3, do we?). By the end of this film, we really feel like we know these characters. Seeing their origins makes us sympathize with them, even as they do atrocious things. We look at Michael, Fredo, and Sonny, and see three little boys whose father loved them very much and wanted them to have a good life. We see in Fredo a scared and weak man who wants to be taken seriously like his brothers, and realizes at the end that he can't fight who he really is anymore. These characters accept their fates, and having watched all their stories, we accept it too. With gorgeous cinematography, top-notch acting (seriously, everyone in this absolutely nails it), and a story that keeps pulling you back in (whoops, last mention of Part 3!), this is a film that needs to be revisited and admired often. 

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