I watched The Godfather again last night. Rob laughs at me as he walks through the living room and says, “You and this movie. It’s the mentality that you love.” I, of course, disagree. I know they’re murderers, but I love them anyway… and that’s good filmmaking.
How many movies actually make you giddy with anticipation for particular scenes? How can anyone ever forget the pre-dawn shot of the movie mogul’s house in the early morning hours and the “Aaaahhhhh, aaaaahhhhhh, aaaahhhhh” screams from the bedroom when he discovers the prized racehorse’s head in his bed? And the scene where Enzo, the baker, stands guard with Michael outside the hospital and pretends to have a gun but is scared stiff when Tatalliga’s men pull up in the black sedan? And what about the turning point of the whole movie, the moment Michael shoots Salazo and the police chief in the head inside the tiny Italian restaurant? It’s the moment everything changes. The moment Al Pacino drops the gun on the floor and we see the car pull up outside and that familiar music plays… well, it’s just brilliant is what it is.
I guess it’s a little unusual for a 37 year old woman to watch The Godfather every single time it comes on television. It’s not exactly a chick flick, I suppose. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that the women in the film are pretty much screwed… literally and figuratively. I mean, they’re cheated on, beaten, yelled at, the hooker in Las Vegas is brutally murdered, and Kay is a long-suffering character even before she marries into the family. It’s pretty sad when the woman with the best life in the whole film is the pretty Sicilian girl who is blown up by a car bomb. I can see the contradictory nature of my love for this film, but it defies explanation. I remember the first time I saw it; I was lying on the hardwood floor of my grandparent’s old log house, and in the flicker of their old television set, I was mesmerized. This movie has absolutely nothing to do with my life or anything I’ve ever known or experienced, but I love the characters and their story, and I am thoroughly entertained. I’ve just always been a sucker for a good story and even better dialogue, and I admire artists who can tell a story that is completely foreign to the listener and speak to them anyway. That’s art.