When I was 12, My dad told me it was time to watch the greatest film ever. This film came in a box of three videocassettes, and I had no idea a film could be so long as to fill up three videocassettes. He explained everything that was going on and provided trivia, and I do that now with my daughter as we watch films. This really was the greatest film ever!
I understood this movie a lot more as an adult. When I first watched it, I didn't know it was a period piece set in the '40s. I assumed that this was how the 1970s looked since that was when this film was made. Even though there are a multitude of characters, nobody is extra. One of the aspects that make this film so great is the fantastic acting from everyone. Most notably was Robert Duvall as Tom, the "consigliere" (lawyer/counselor) for the family and Al Pacino as Michael Corleone.
This film is over three hours long and soo much happens during those hours! I could spend all day writing and writing just about stuff that happens and the layers involved. The main plot involves Michael, who is a college graduate returning from his service in the war to his sister's wedding. He wants nothing to do with his family's lifestyle. After his father is shot and he gets punched in the jaw by a cop, his attitude changes. He sets up the murders of those involved and then hides out in Sicily. He leads a happy life and gets married, but his family's lifestyle affects him there as well, when his wife is killed by a car bomb meant for him. He returns with more interest in the family business. His older brother was expected to be the new Don but is he tragically killed while on his way to protect their sister from her abusive husband.
I think that their sister was being used as a pawn by her husband. He was the one who talked to Barzini. He knew that Sonny would rush to protect his sister and take the fastest route. Everything was set by him. He even cheated on her while she was pregnant. He doesn't care about her at all. Even after Michael had him killed, she still couldn't see her husband for what he really was.
Another thing I noticed was food. Food! Everyone is eating all the time in this film. I recommend eating before you watch this or else you will see the food and snack during the movie, and three hours of mindless snacking adds up. I do it, too. I really appreciate my dad showing me this film and explaining everything. It led me on a path not to simply watch films but to use them to engage in meaningful discussions. I will give this film a 10/10 because this is perfection.