Monday, 29 April 2013

An Offer You Can't Refuse !

My all time favourite move is The Godfather. Released in 1972 this American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola is based on Mario Puzo's 1969 novel of the same name. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, the Godfather and its two sequels, The Godfather Part 2 (1974) and The Godfather Part 3 (1990) chronicle the history of a powerful New York crime family ....the Corleones.

The Godfather is regarded by movie buffs as one of the great works of world cinema having been nominated for ten Oscars and winning three in 1972......... Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando) and Best Adapted Screenplay for Puzo and Coppola.

For me the ‘Godfather’ trilogy is a morally challenging experience. These movies on one level are an exploration of Italian/American history and the social and moral conventions of the Mafia. At another more profound level, they reflect the darkest aspects of human nature. Indeed, for me, the development of the main character, Michael Corleone, acted superbly by Al Pacino is a classic study in evil.

In an Oscar winning performance, Marlon Brando portrays the ageing and increasingly world weary Vito Corleone, the Godfather. He has maintained his power by making accommodations with quietly exercising authority, ensuring influence with politicians and judges by ‘making people an offer they could not refuse’. When cut down by an assassin’s bullets, the mantle of leadership passes, to Vito’s youngest son Michael. 

Returning from service in World War 2 as an ‘all American hero’ seemingly untainted by the culture of the ‘mafioso’, Michael is thrust into leadership.  His vengeance is planned, meticulous, and extremely brutal. With every minute of the movie, Michael Corleone becomes darker, colder, more calculating and ruthless.

Although fictional, the Godfather trilogy succeeds because it lays bare some of the bleakest and darkest aspects of our all too human souls........sin. In the ‘Godfather’ movies, there is very little in the way of redemption.

I have watched these movies many times over, and always have to turn to the Bible for a dose of reality after a brief immersion in the affairs of the Corleones.

The Bible is very clear about sin. It is rebellion against God and the penalty is death.

Unlike the movies, the Bible does offer redemption to all in the form of Jesus Christ. No fiction here. Jesus, a real historical character, Son of God, led a sinless life and was crucified on a Roman cross for my sin so that I, a sinner, through trusting in him would not have to pay the penalty for my sin. In the Gospel of John it says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

Now that’s an offer you can’t refuse !!
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