The Godfather: Part II

The Godfather: Part II ★★★★★

I know it was you, Fredo.

The juxtaposition between the rise of Vito Corleone and the fall of the good man that Michael Corleone might have been is elegantly laid out as the timeline jumps back and forth between the two stories over the course of the film. But it's drawn into sharp focus only in the final scene of the film, a flashback that sees Michael and the whole Corleone clan awaiting the arrival of their father. Michael announces that he's just enlisted to fight for his country in World War 2, throwing away the college deferment that his father got for him, in addition to any plans that his father, Tom or anyone else might have mapped out for his future. He is an individual with his own plans. He isolates himself from the family business and the family itself. The liveliness and joyous interaction between everyone in the extended family stands in sharp contrast to Michael, sitting silent and smoking alone in the corner, coldly contemplating his future. The whole arc of the Corleone family writ small in one short denouement of a scene. This film is a goddamn masterpiece.

Added to: Top 200 Films

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