Oscars Challenge #94: The Godfather Part II (1974) Movie Review
The first Godfather film was great, but it left the audience grasping as Michael Corleone became the Don of their organization. It may have also raised questions about how his father, Vito Corleone, created it. The first movie somehow felt empty after it ended.
Two years later, The Godfather Part II premiered, and everyone's questions have been answered. Unlike other sequel films, this movie has been of a different caliber by continuing to deliver a great story, writing, and cinematography.
This is the real definition of a great movie.
Unlike the first Godfather film, where the story is flown linearly, the sequel acts as its continuation and prequel. It's also shown in different perspectives, from Michael, who continues leading the organization, and a young Vito Corleone on how he built it from the ground up.
The year is 1901, and a young Vito Andolini flees the country after his family is killed in Sicily by an organization led by Don Ciccio. He arrives in New York and registers a new name, Vito Corleone. Thirteen years later, Vito is married and has a son, Sonny. He loses his job due to the influence of Don Fanucci. Meanwhile, his neighbor, Peter Clemenza, enlists him to help him steal something. Soon, Vito was gifted with three more children, Fredo, Michael, and Connie. He makes income by stealing along with Clemenza. During a festa, Vito kills Don Fanucci after disagreeing with the amount he is willing to pay for his services. He becomes a well-respected and formidable individual helping his community while eradicating his enemies. He vows to kill Don Ciccio and avenge his murdered family.
Michael Corleone continued inheriting the organization after Vito died. He has a series of meetings with other people from the organization. He refuses to defend his territory from the organization of Hyman Roth, a long-standing partner of the Corleones. After an assassination attempt against Michael's life, he departs and confides with Tom Hagen that he suspects a traitor in his family. As they try to figure out who the traitor is, Michael's relationship with his wife, Kay, is at its breaking point.
Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and John Cazale reprised their roles from the first film. Robert De Niro portrays the young Vito Corleone.
I know it's been mentioned before, but it's worth mentioning again. The Godfather and The Godfather Part II are in different caliber. There is nothing like it despite premiering half a century ago. It has rightfully earned its accolades and recognition.
Some moviegoers during its initial premier might have been confused due to how the story is told from a non-linear perspective. Still, eventually, people recognize it as a piece of art delivered intellectually.
Its talented and star-studded cast delivered a monumental performance. Even Connie Corleone, who has been given a more prominent role here than the first, is superb. But I must tip my hats off to the main cast for being great.
The Godfather Part II, in my opinion, is slightly better than the first one. However, some may claim the first part is more emotionally driven. I think the second part is better how the story is structured. I feel like I connected to the story a bit more. I feel like I understood Michael and Vito as the plot progressed.
Everything about this film is a chef's kiss—a film of epic proportions with a story that surpasses even the good movies we have today.
An actual movie that deserves a perfect 5 out of 5 stars.