Analysis of the Godfather Part II

Categories: The Godfather

The Godfather 2 is the continuation of a world-known film which is popular in America and other countries. The combination of a professional stage direction by Coppola, magnificent play of talented actors, and amazing scenario has guaranteed unprecedented rate of success. There is a lot of violence and aggression portrayed, but this is only a means of an artistic tool to reflect the director's vision and to create the appropriate atmosphere in the film.

The illustration of life of criminals, cruel murders, deaths have been a major topic of discussion.

Some critics state that movie provokes aggression. It shows the most powerful merciless crime organization in a positive light, others are sure that these aspects of cruelty just add specific coloring to and none of antisocial themes are hidden. Advocates of the former viewpoint state that a new generation from the Godfather Part II is responsible for empowering a rigid, pragmatic mafia corporation into a real business. If viewers don't perceive the plot of movie as a type of entertainment, it can lead to misunderstandings related to the moral grounds of film.

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The proponents of the latter ideas are more positively configured. They do not consider this movie as elevating gangster's family because Coppola and his friend Puzo do not admire Don Vito, Michael, and people of this social stratum. They investigate them and analyze their behavior. They try to understand and show how and why Vito Corleone who plays a significant part in first communion of mafia has become a godfather.

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They demonstrate how Michael has turned into a man, who does not like his dad's business, acquires quite positive human traits to protect his father and family. It is shown how he later transforms into a real monster – a criminal and a murderer. It is not about promoting violence but rather a psychological portrayal of people who can change under pressure of circumstances.

The main drama of aims at investigating the portrayal of crime in the movie, its influence on the audience and readers, through characteristics of Michael Corleone as well as cinematographic techniques which make this film popular.

Michael Corleone is the most obvious character who symbolizes inner metamorphoses of a guy who becomes a true criminal. He has his own chain of successive transformations: the young hero of war, a respectable family member, the Punishment Hammer of the family business, the exile, the candidate of "Don," don Michael. His excitement is even superior, and this leads to the fact that he turns into a real mafia boss, without admitting this change. He simply defends his family and performs his son's duty. He has a rather peculiar family which defeats Michael, although he initially tries to do everything to prevent the turning point from happening.

Michael is always kept apart from the family. His father does not try to explain him all the ins and outs of the family deals. Michael gets education, and then, he goes to the army against the will of his father. When he returns, Michael begins to live separately from his family and is about to marry, but his father's injury fundamentally changes his life and destiny. Michael realizes that at this difficult time among the family, he cannot stay away. Since Michael by nature cannot confine himself to the role of a passive participant in hostilities, he takes on the burden of solving the most difficult questions.

Al Pacino, who plays the role of Michael Corleone, has brilliantly shown all the inner transformation of this character, all the strength, and power of Michael's traits, without resorting to any special external effects. Only the look and manner of saying the words speak volumes. The scene, when Michael in Sicily is first introduced to Apollonia's father is that one which provokes goosebumps on viewer's skin. He deals with the community with dignity and looks like a real matured man.

The movie has lots of idiomatic phrases which have become national quotations on different occasions. The phrase "the day my daughter is to be married" is probably known to everyone. It is impossible to count how many times during the wedding ceremonies one of the guests got up and spoke it aloud, addressing the bride's father, while the guests were vigorously enjoying themselves. This is ridiculous and amusing. It is impossible to calculate how many times in different parts of the world Michael's key phrase was pronounced in completely different languages:

"Nothing personal. It's just business." The Godfather 2 is one the most successful films of the twentieth century. The Godfather 2 stands first on the international Internet movie database (IMDB) in the list of the best movies of all times. Almost one hundred thousand people voted for this academic award.

The Godfather Part II is the best between the two films, and it continues to grasp attention of millions of contemporary viewers. It is already a classic movie and, unlike many other old films, looks just great regarding cinematographic effects and actors' play. People remember lots of phrases by heart but want to re-watch it more and more from the beginning until the end. This movie does deserve this attention. It is an excellent professionalism to show the inner changes of Michael who becomes mature throughout the whole film. The Godfather 2 is the final chapter of the violent history of the Corleone criminal family.


  • Coppola, Francis Ford, et al. The Godfather. Paramount Pictures, 1974.
  • Julien, Ayanna. “Why Al Pacino Still Thinks Michael Corleone Was His Most Difficult Role.”CINEMABLEND, CINEMABLEND, 26 Apr. 2015,
  • “The Godfather, Part II (1974).” An Award-Winning, Unique Resource of Film Reference Material for Film Buffs and Others, with Reviews of Classic American-Hollywood Films, Academy Awards History, Film Posters.,
Updated: Mar 15, 2022
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Analysis of the Godfather Part II essay
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