Siegel™’s review published on Letterboxd:
The stresses of holding so much fragile power.
Coppola embeds us in this underwold from the word go and keeps us so immersed that we are too close to even observe it – we are in it, in this society made by and for criminals. For us, the Corleones are the good guys; the rival families are the bad guys. This is the ambitious central conceit on which the entire film hinges: it manages to set apart good guys and bad guys in a world constructed and populated entirely by bad guys. And just like us, so entrenched within the lifestyle of the film that we cannot quite comprehend the world outside of it with the context we are given, there is no other conceivable path for members of the family. The most obvious theme of family versus The Family is interesting, but it's really just the foundation to its most prominent theme, which is the inescapability of one's destiny (or an unforgiving mixture of nature and nurture that rarely allows anyone to transcend their lot in life which they had no choice but to choose).