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July 29, 2019

Godfather Part 2 (1974) --- “All The Power On The Earth Can’t Change Destiny.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
The story continues to follow the Corleone crime family by doing a side by side comparison between two iconic characters, Don Vito and his son Michael. In the 1920s, the early life and career of a young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) is shown as he goes from being just another boy in Sicily to one of the most respected mafia dons in New York. In the 1950s, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) is attempting to expand his family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood, and Cuba, while at the same time trying to keep his failing marriage and his relationship with his siblings intact. How does a nobody become the most revered person in New York’s underground world? Can Michael save his family and his empire from collapse? Or will his paranoia get the best of him?
     Francis Ford Coppola (director and co-writer) and Mario Puzo (co-writer and author of the novel) return to continue the saga with The Godfather Part II (1974). The Godfather (1972) is a 3-hour long American masterpiece that told a detailed, complex, and a sometimes confusing story about family, loyalty, revenge, and the passage of time and featured a large ensemble cast of characters. No one was expecting it to be a box-office hit that could not be beaten until Jaws came out 3 years later, nor that it would win 25 awards, including 3 Academy Awards and 5 Golden Globes. Subsequently, it would be these achievements that would give Coppola free reign on the sequel film.
     At first, the Part II’s narrative seems to mirror its predecessor by being over 3 -hours long and beginning with a big family celebration where the Don makes his men sweat as they wait to meet the boss. However, Part II differs from its predecessor by not being another classic Hollywood tale but rather being one of corruption, greed, and villainy and yet also managing to be one of the saddest films ever made. It is both optimistic and pessimistic in equal measures as it focuses on two leads facing different circumstances. We see a son lose his soul in one time period while his father gains his in another time period. By the end of the film, the audience comes to the conclusion that Michael was always destined to be alone and carve his own path while forever dreaming about what could have been if things had happened differently. All in all, director Coppola has seamlessly extended the story of the original film which has ultimately made the original better than we first thought. 
     The cast performances are incredible once again. Al Pacino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) is once again commanding and delivers one of his best performances as Michael but this time we get to see a new level to the character. Michael has been the Don from some years now and we get to see just how great of a toll it is for one to bare; heavy is the head that wears the crown. Now I am not a huge fan of Robert DeNiro (The Family) but here he is quite convincing as a young Vito Corleone, especially considering the iconic nature of Marlon Brando’s performance in 1972 film. He symbolizes his performance by opting to show hardly any reactions on his face. The rest of the cast performances did an incredible job with their respective performances. 

     Overall, The Godfather Part II (1974) is a cinematic masterpiece that surpasses the original. The story is complex, dramatic, violent, and romantic about family, loyalty, revenge, and the passing of time. At the same time, this is also one of the saddest films I have seen as it manages to be both optimistic and pessimistic. The cast performances were incredible, especially from Al Pacino, who has grown tremendously since the first film, and Robert DeNiro, who is quite convincing as a young Vito Corleone. All in all, as an incredibly successful sequel, it's one of the first of its kind and is the reason why today’s filmmakers try so hard to make a successful sequel. So if you have not seen The Godfather Part II (1974) then I highly recommend that you do because you won’t regret it. 

Final Vote ---  of 10 stars

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