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Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is one of the most successful movie franchises in filmmaking history. The success of the movie was preceded by the success of a novel that was adapted to the big screen. The author is Mario Puzo. His book sold thirty million copies (Messenger 4). It only requires a million copies sold in order for someone to be considered a spectacular writer. But tens of millions of copies sold signifies not only the strength of the writer, but also that the subject matter that connected with the readers. The success of the novel was translated to the film. The success of the movie can be attributed to a rhetoric that attempts to explain human nature and why people behave in a certain way.
The opening scene already provides ample proof that the filmmaker understood the essence of human nature. The scene opens with a tight shot of a man’s face. The director did not allow any other elements to enter the frame. The audience can only see the face of the person talking. There are no other actions and there are no other objects that can distract the audience. The intended purpose of the tight shot was to force the audience to focus on the agony of the father. The man desperately wanted justice for his daughter, the victim of assault. The father suffered from great emotional distress because he wanted to avenge his daughter but he knew that he cannot expect help from others. He was left with no choice but to follow the orders of the Don.
The camera shifts to another scene. This time the camera focuses on Michael Corleone. His appearance and demeanor are in stark contrast to the other guests and even the other members of the Corleone family. Michael Corleone wears a uniform to signify that he is part of the U.S. military. His uniform and his demeanor set him apart not because he is the most powerful person in the story, but because he has created distance between himself and the family. This scene is another example when it comes to the filmmaker’s great appreciation and understanding of human nature.
It is interesting to point out that the filmmaker did not have to provide the rhetoric to explain that for the Corleone clan, family is everything. Michael was a family member by blood but he had to demonstrate his willingness to conform. But in that particular stage of the story, Michael Corleone was defiant. The uniform that he wore signified that he was not indebted and desperately dependent on the love, affection, and financial support of Don Corleone.
The uniform has another symbolic meaning. In the eyes of Don Corleone, the uniform meant that his son trusted the government more than he trusted his family. The conflict between father and child is another interesting display of the filmmaker’s insight into human nature. Some of the most powerful emotions that a person can feel are the emotions that involve family members. But one of the most critical are those that involve the relationship of the child with a parent. In this story, the relationship between Michael Corleone and his father was not the best in terms of communication, warmth and affection. However, when the life of the father was threatened, all the superficial issues immediately disappeared and Michael Corleone did not think twice to lay down the issues that he had with his father. In this instance Michael understood his role.
It was important to highlight the indifference that Michael felt towards his father. It was also important to highlight the frustrations of Don Corleone when it came to his son Michael. But when tragedy struck, the family became a cohesive force. One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when the sons of Don Corleone meet to discuss the impending crisis over the Corleone family in the immediate aftermath of the failed assassination attempt to kill the Godfather. Michael had not an imposing presence as compared to his elder brother. But when he sensed an impasse, he immediately presented the cure. Like a cold-blooded killer, Michael suddenly experienced a transformation.
The plan to kill the man called The Turkis another example of how the filmmaker understood the human mind and human emotions. As a result, the filmmaker was able to develop a scene and dialogue that were easy for the audience to accept as credible. For example, when Michael was about to meet The Turkand the chief of police that was in cahoots with a crime syndicate, they were told that the location of the meeting was changed. The reason for the change was the lack of trust with regards to Michael and his family
The camera shifts to a restaurant and Michael is eating dinner with The Turkand the police chief. Michael goes to get the gun and in the most collected manner opens fire on his two enemies. He then casually dropps the gun and walks away as if nothing had happened. Prior to the event, the male members of the Corleone family told Michael that the people in the restaurant will be so afraid that they will not recognize the killer. This is another example of how the filmmaker was able to take into consideration the feelings and other attributes of the humans.
The success of The Godfather film franchise can also be explained through the capability of the filmmaker to develop the necessary requirements to maintain a concrete solution to problems. The ability to examine the human nature aspect of the story is not only evident in the interactions between the members of the Corleone family. These interactions are also evident when it comes to business transactions made with other people and not necessarily family discussions over a particular issue. There are other memorable scenes in the storym such as the fear in the eyes of The Turk when he realized that he was responsible for the assassination attempt (Lyden 156).
The success of the move can be explained through the expertise of the physician. There were numerous feelings that can be felt in the summer time and these were in full display. The success of the filmmaker is in his sensitivity towards a particular task. Every action and every object within a frame must correspond to the goal of the filmmaker. The author was able to demonstrate the importance of family. The Corleone family had their differences but during a time of crisis they were reunited once more.