Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Country: United States
Starring: Al Pacino, Andy García, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Sofia Coppola, Eli Wallach, Joe Mantegna, Richard Bright, Raf Vallone, Franc D'Ambrosio, Donal Donnelly, Helmut Berger
Genres: Crime drama
Rating: 4 out of 5
The concluding chapter of The Godfather Trilogy is enjoyable than the second part, yet not as exceptionally powerful as the first two movies. Yet, in the third part, there is a strange power, and the dramatic contents are much intense. Here, family relationships are given much more emphasis. The first two films were also intense in family drama, yet in the third part it seems as if the family relations, perhaps not as intense as that of the first two films, yet they are more touching.
Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) is now an old man, and regrets for all his past deeds: his involvement in crimes, and especially for the fact that he murdered his own brother, Fredo. He is now trying to legitimize the family business, and is trying to stay away from the world of crimes.
His children are grown up: Anthony (Franc D'Ambrosio) and Mary (Sofia Coppola). Both are memorable characters. Anthony loves his father, but knows that his father had murdered his own brother. Anthony wants to be an opera singer, but Michael wants him to be a lawyer, to finish his education at the law school. Mary is closer to her father, and is the chairman of the Vito Corleone Foundation. Kay (Diane Keaton) and Michael are now divorced, and Kay comments that she ''dreads'' Michael.
Enter Vincent (Andy García), the illegitimate son of Sonny Corleone, Michael's late elder brother. Vincent is in nature a young with a good heart, yet he has inherited the bad temper of his late father. Along with Connie (Talia Shire), Michael's only living sibling, he remains a confidant of Michael. Connie, on the other hand, now plays a different role. To me, Connie will remain one of the most memorable characters in The Godfather Trilogy. The first film began with her wedding. We saw her as an abused wife, then we saw her as a hysterical widow furious at her brother because he killed her husband, then we saw her as a reckless woman who goes through meaningless relationships and marriages, and then we saw her as a kindly woman taking care of Michael's little children. And what role does she play now? She is one of the few people whom Michael is closest, she is Michael's confidant, and yet there it seems she is a cunning woman. She supports Vincent in every of his decisions, not caring if it will be right or wrong.
Then there is a trouble (once again!) as conspiracies to kill the Don Corleone starts, and then...
The Godfather Part III is a strange movie, if compared to it's predecessors. What impresses us about this movie, in fact? Was it the dark sides of the story, or the touching family story, or both? Be it anything, I enjoyed this movie better than The Godfather Part II, though there can be no denying that Part III is weaker than the first two films.
Al Pacino, playing the repentant Michael Corleone, plays a touching character. Like Connie, Michael has also had different forms. First, a young man not willing to join the family business. Then he became the ruthless don. And now he is repentent for his past crime, and has become charitable and is no longer coldhearted. Diane Keaton retains the charm as Kay. Andy Garcia deserves special praise.
And now, the performance of Sofia Coppola (daughter of Francis Ford Coppola) is heavily criticized. But I thought she was not that terrible. Sure, her performance wasn't good. Not good at all. She was somewhat expressionless (for example, she couldn't really act angry). But then again, Sofia adds a particular sweetness in the character of Mary. In fact, Sofia Coppola is even charming at times, though her performance was mostly bad.
The screenplay is excellent. Cinematography is worthy of praise. Music is excellent. The opera near the end of the film was fascinating.
Flashback and nostalgia can be seen in the movie, bringing back memories of the old days. The youth of Michael Corleone, for example. These nostalgias remind us of the first film of the series. The trilogy can be viewed as the life of Michael Corleone. A touching ending it has, and the conclusion to The Godfather Trilogy, is, I think, satisfying and touching.
4 out of 5