Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Godfather by Mario Puzo, A Comparison of novel and film Essay

The Godfather by Mario Puzo, A Comparison of novel and film - Essay Example There are numerous schools of thought on what made this novel and film appeal to the American public. Some critics are of the view that it was all about the timing. Firstly, Barra (4 & 5) argues that the novel lacked the literary merit to warrant its popularity and goes on to base the novels success on the fact that it was produced at a period when easy-reading books, that he refers to as novelizations, were a hit. However, when it comes to the films, The Godfather  and  The Godfather Part II were realised in 1972 and 1974, which was a time that the US was experiencing much turmoil and change. Critics attribute the films’ leanings towards the New Left and its exposure of the hypocrisy of institutions of power, such as corruption in the police force and politicians, gave the public what they desired to see and hear. However, the theme that pundits agree on that may have contributed to the success of both the novel and the film was that the story was really about the exper iences of American immigrant families, specifically Sicilian-Americans, adapting to their new environment. Barra (6) states that if we take away the gambling and the murder, the story becomes a straightforward depiction of how Italian-American families were assimilated into American culture. This we believe superseded the notion that it was the film that made the novel famous because historical data shows that the book had already sold millions of copies before the first film was  ­released in 1972. This common theme therefore is what we believe to be bearing the underlying relevance of the both the novel and the films: assimilation of immigrant families into the American society and its resultant consequences. The original plot and the film adaptations The Godfather novel is set in the 1940s and revolves around the family of a Sicily-American immigrant. Don Vito Corleone, the head of the Corleone family is referred to as the Godfather because he embodies what every man aspires to be. He is strong, powerful, cunning and a loving family man. This is depicted where we see Amerigo Bonasera coming to him to seek justice for his daughter’s rape (Puzo 10) and also by Virgil Sollozo who seeks Vito’s partnership to engage in the lucrative drug peddling business. The Don refuses to take up Sollozo’s offer, which leads the â€Å"Turk† to send assassins to kill the Don. Vito Corleone survives, but needs to stay away from the direct running of the family business. Sonny, his hot-headed son, takes up leadership of the Corleone family, convinces Michael, his younger brother to kill Sollozo and Captain McCluskey in vengeance for his father’s failed assassination attempt. This act results in a full scale war between the five mafia families in New York. The all out mafia war leads to the death of Sonny and Michael’s ascension to the head of the family. Michael initially tries to legitimize the Corleone business empire, but fails. Michael who erstwhile wanted nothing to do with the family business changes into a ruthless Don, who eliminates all the heads of the other mafia families in New York. He later sells all the Corleone property in New York and moves the family to Lake Tahoe, Nevada. In contrast to the novel, the movie is made of three sequels. The Godfather, Part I is the film whose plot most closely resembles the novel’s bar the elimination of several character backstories

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