This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Emiliano’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Considered by many as the best film of all time, The Godfather was first released in 1972, and finished with the rise of Michael Corleone. The Godfather: Part II, released 2 years later, is to me, a perfect sequel, and by many others, even better than the first one.
De Niro as Vito Corleone
Before jumping into Michael, this film is also focused on Vito Corleone’s youth and first steps before becoming The Godfather. I thank, and I will never get tired of thanking the executives for choosing Robert De Niro to play young Vito, he is beyond outstanding, and I can say that I almost thought about preferring De Niro as Vito rather than Brando. Both are in a top tier pedestal in cinema history.
Al Pacino and the fall of Michael Corleone
The first part of the Corleone’s saga ends up with Michael becoming The Godfather, we witness how people starts showing loyalty towards him and the last scene is Michael starting a new path with no return. The Godfather: Part II has a total different ending.
Throughout the film, it can be seen how Michael wants to follow his father’s steps; how he pretends to be the strong man in order to protect his beloved family. In the end, the Corleone are a family, and that union part was so very important in the first chapter of its trilogy. But it is impressive how his character development takes an entirely different path, Michael is not a good man anymore, he is blinded by his power as said by his wife and there’s no longer that Michael Corleone who joined the army so that he wouldn’t have anything to do with his family’s business.
This film shows us how Michael will never be his father; how different they are from each other and how Vito was always loved and respected. Unlike his son, Don Vito never teared his family apart to “protect” them, but Michael little by little becomes more cruel to the point where he just ends up alone.
As shown in the last flashback of the film, when Michael says he joined the army, his family starts going out of frame one by one until he’s all alone, the same way he ends up alone in the last scene after killing his brother, hating his wife and being feared by his sister or those who once were loyal to him.
This might be Al Pacino’s best performance ever and it has become one of my favorite actings of all time. The idea of a character blinded by his power, impulsive and cruel is powerful and presented during every of his appearances.
As well as in The Godfather, this second part is also directed by the master Francis Ford Coppola, with another incredible demonstration of his talent when directing. Gordon Willis, director of photography, made a beautiful work, packing this film with gorgeous shots and memorable scenes.
Music: Nino Rota is obviously an artist. The Godfather trilogy has one of the best soundtracks ever made in the entire history, it is one of my personal favorites and maybe this trilogy wouldn’t be as great as it is without Rota’s masterpieces.
Although the 202 minutes are really heavy, it’s a slow moving film and compared to its predecessor, it felt a little bit of a downgrade. Still, nothing to worry about.
The Godfather: Part II does justice regarding its first part, worthy of being considered one of the greatest films ever. The Godfather and its second part are a 10/10, but if I have to choose one, it’d be its first part.
(Nonetheless, the scene where Vito kills Don Ciccio is probably my favorite scene in cinema history.)