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Review | The Godfather: 50 Years Later

The edition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the release of The Godfather, shows that the film remains one of the best in the history of cinema.

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"The Godfather"("The Godfather” in the original) is, indisputably, one of the great classics in the history of cinema, a sacred monster practically untouchable within the seventh art. The possible masterpiece of Francis Ford Coppola carries, in addition to its numerous awards and recognitions, the merits of having generated a sequel practically as memorable (for some, even better) as the first film.

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In addition, he was the flagship of a whole genre of films that reached extreme popularity since the 70's, and that still shows some ability to renew itself (even if the times of mafiosi from traditional European families are long gone). , as occurred in the first decade of the 2000s with “The Departed”, or in more recent times, with “The Irish” (both directed by Martin Scorsese).

It is undeniable that "The Godfather” is an eternal landmark of a very different time than today, so it is important that we ask ourselves if the film would have the same impact and relevance 50 years later.

The truth is, yes. After watching the commemorative version for the 50th anniversary of its original release, it's impossible to deny that it remains one of the best films in the history of cinema. Everything about it is exquisite (and the remaster seems to make that even more evident).

The cast is simply the movie gala (50 years pass and Marlon Brandon and Al Pacino remain virtually unsurpassed), the roadmap for Mario Puzzo has a quality rarely achieved (with iconic parts, plot twists, character development, immersion in the plot, all practically flawless), the production is impressive even for our days, and Coppola's direction not only runs practically without errors, but takes the film as close to perfection as it is possible to be.

It's rare for a 50-year-old film to age so well, and if it does, it truly deserves to be called a masterpiece. Perhaps a “technical” aspect that might bring some discussion to newer audiences is its long duration, which can make it seem a bit drawn out at points, but this is a common feature of the genre, and even its more recent approaches. (like the aforementioned “The Departed” and “The Irishman”) maintains this tradition of meticulous plot development.

Of course, if the film were released today, it would raise several discussions, such as the romanticization of criminals of European origin (with their family values and traditions, as well as the resistance of the Italian mafia to adopt drug trafficking), something that hardly generates the same empathy when criminal organizations led by individuals of other ethnic origins are portrayed; or perhaps the fact that it represents an America that no longer exists and that no longer generates the same identification in the general public, since the time of Italian-American mobster gangs is long gone, a realization that belatedly struck Martin Scorcese with his “The Irishman,” which is a film of many merits indeed, but whose director could barely hide his disappointment that it was released on a streaming service, not in theaters, as it would have if the country of his youth still existed.

But all this is actually irrelevant in relation to “The Godfather”. It was produced at the right time and must be analyzed in the light of its time. And especially, if seen only as a cinematographic work, it remains one of the best films of all time. That merit will hardly be taken away from him.

The film hits theaters on February 24th. On digital platforms on March 22.

By: Wallace William

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