One night, back when I was in the 8th grade, my mother was on the phone with my eldest brother. He mentioned to her that he had seen the movie The Godfather recently.
He said it was a good movie and that he liked it.
One of my favourite pastimes back then was watching movies, and I had the CD of The Godfather at home, so after hearing this, I decided to watch it that week.
Even before I reached half way into the movie I knew I was watching something special. I was blown away by the acting of the cast. Every actor was living and fully embodying their characters so much so that it did not seem like acting to me.
The plot of the movie was gripping and accompanied by a evocative and beautiful soundtrack. I felt calling it a “good movie” like my brother did was a massive understatement. Never had I felt more impressed and blown away after watching a movie.
I watched it at least two more times that same year and even started a mafia gang as a joke amongst my friends in school. I tried to get almost everyone I know to watch the movie, and even successfully managed to get my mother to watch it.
The Godfather was my mother’s brother’s favourite movie, but my mother had never watched it because she believed it was too violent. Even she ended up liking it and discovered it wasn’t violent like she imagined.
Unlike most people, how much I like a movie is usually influenced by the kind of moral message it conveys. The Godfather, in that regard, doesn’t have a positive underlying message like my other favourite movies — The Schindler’s List and To Kill a Mockingbird (both of which I have written about before).
But then again, I’d argue that the movie does not actively try to glorify the mafia lifestyle, instead it shows the huge price one pays in choosing to lead such a life.
I talk about The Godfather here not because of some profound lesson in the movie but because it is a beautiful work of art that manages to transform a tale about a mafia family into a sort of spiritual experience for the viewer.
I believe that art is one of the main avenues through which the divine communicates with the masses, and it sometimes uses artists as vessels to express itself. I feel this sort of divine expression manifests in The Godfather in the exceptional direction and acting performances by the whole cast, especially Marlon Brando, who portrays Don Corleone.
Great art can enrich our lives and inspires us in ways beyond our conscious comprehension.
So, if you haven’t seen The Godfather I’d urge you to watch it. If you’ve watched it already, I’d even recommend watching it again.
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