The Godfather Part II (1974)

I watched this over 3 nights. I didn't realize to begin with that it was 200 minutes long!

In the second installment, we continue the life of Michael Corleone, heir to Vito - the original Godfather. He's moved to Lake Tahoe and is on a quest to make his empire stronger, richer, and unbeatable. The drama occurs primarily between Michael and his siblings, wife, and partners. I was shocked at how well the transformation held and matured from the first movie - a brilliant striking contrast scene at the end of part II helps recall what Michael was like.

The story is actually shared with the young Vito, played this time by Robert de Niro, as he flees Sicily as a boy and begins business in NYC. De Niro is a brilliant Godfather - an exact replica of Marlon Brando's. The film achieves much of its success with the contrast and evolution of its characters.

I enjoyed the Cuba interlude on the eve of Castro's revolution. I wish more people understood what Cuba was before Castro and communism; it was a Las Vegas filled with cheap labor, no laws, lots of drugs and prostitution.

Particularly, the camera work on this film kept my attention. Everything was very intentional from the angle to where it was panning. Truly a masterful film.

Of course the major theme is revenge, from Sicily's blood feuds to assassinations, and it's desructive nature. A great picture.


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