William Li’s review published on Letterboxd:
Allow me to ramble on for a bit. It's 4 AM but I don't care.
When people say or list "the greatest films of all time", you'll most likely have some usual choices, some that you almost certainly know is gonna be on it. Your Shawshank Redemption, your Pulp Fiction and whatnot.
You hear and you hear about how great these movies are, how everyone must see them, how this is cinematic art at its most pure, and you start to doubt.
It's human nature, to doubt. Especially when all you've heard about that movie is positives. The thought of rebelling against the norm is hardcoded into some minds.
On another train of thought, hearing about just how good a movie is, how brilliant it is, and not having actually seen it yourself, it becomes a rite of passage of sorts. There's a subtle "difference" to you before and after, perhaps more mentally than physically. It's kinda like bungee jumping or skydiving for the first time.
Now hear me out. That fear and excitement prior to the jump, isn't that similar to sitting yourself down and relaxing yourself prior to watching an acclaimed movie? That initial jump over the edge, before the fall, isn't that like seeing the opening scene of the movie? That realization of "Oh my God, this is actually happening?"
And then, you fall. You fall into it. The characters, the writing, the music, the direction, the cinematography, all that. You fall into this climax of senses both audio and visual. It's amazing, everything everyone said was true.
Now, imagine a three hour bungee jump into of sense and sensibility. That's The Godfather. A movie that I consider as a rite of passage to watch, and to which I myself have now gone through. A movie that I think is literally perfect. You change one thing, and it's ruined. Jesus Christ, Francis Ford Coppola in the 70's was on a whole other level.
But yeah, this movie really is as good as a movie can be. I'm still not done, though. The Godfather Part II is yet another acclaimed movie and yet another rite of passage to me. I'm a "late bloomer" to the film world as I say so myself, so I have a lot more passages to go. I'm blessed.
God, I hope this makes sense. 4:38 AM, man.