Godfather- Once upon a time in New York

Godfather- Once upon a time in New York

Exactly 48 years have been fled away when the rage of “Godfather” first born in 1969. The young generation of that time to the generation who was still unborn but young at this time, the book got generations on fire. Years have gone and Godfather is still one of the most red book, one of the most watched film, one of the most searched topic across the net too. Many quotes and dialogues from the book are still famous as hell.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

“ I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse..”

“A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults.”

“Behind every successful fortune there is a crime.”

“Keep your friends close and enemy closer.”

_ Quotes from “Godfather” by Mario Puzo

Godfather became a fairy tale of silver screen in the year of 1972 where the screen adaption of the book become the most successful movie on box office in that year. Movie got three “Oscar awards” including best adaptive screen play which was given to Mario Puzo. The movie is declared as one of the unforgettable drama in the category of gangster genre and achieved place to be cherished at U.S.A. ‘s National film registry in library of congress as a symbol culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Godfather is still regarded as second greatest film in the history of American Drama.

The story of book birth is as queer as any other story of how famous novel and novelists born from the adversity. We Indians are accustomed with the term of “Dharawi.” More notorious than Dharawi the area of “Hell’s kitchen” in the city of New York is the centre of criminal activities and underworld.  “Mario Puzo”, the writer of “Godfather” has been born in an Italian family at hell’s kitchen. Though he born and brought up in the area full of criminal activity, Mario completed quality education tried his luck first in military then journalism and lastly in writing. His two novels before Godfather were huge collapse. His trivial job of clerk was not sufficient to earn daily bread and butter therefore He has started to write third book from a burning desire and worry for his family as he wanted to feed his wife and five children who were dependent upon him. Nevertheless he finished Godfather but unfortunately no publisher was ready to publish the book. After facing infinite rejections from big shot publishing houses to smaller roofs publications “G. P. Putnam’s Sons” agreed to publish this book. Puzo used to do yellow journalism in his initial days of being journalist. There he recorded most of the collection he heard and received about Mafia world in America. He himself was Italian- American by birth and knew most of the traits under the veils. The book had been published and history began. Godfather before publication which was just third-rate criminal story written by poor fish flippant bad boy from hell’s kitchen had broken all the records leaving behind many top class elite novels and writers. It was “New York time best seller novel” topper in the list for record break 67 weeks. 90 lakhs editions had been sold in two years after its first publication.

Revenge drama is always been center of attraction for any best seller book or super hit movie and Godfather is no exception for that. The story whirls around the Don Vito Corleone, his family behind the  true dark background of Mafia war happened in New York city in 1945. The core concept of book is based on 5 mafia families in New York their blood war, survival and ultimate victory. Puzo painted his drama taking one family and it’s family head in the middle creating the lead character of his story.

The plot of novel begins where Don Vito Corleone rejected to give his political cover to drug business. This leads to an attempt of his murder. While Don is hospitalized and counting seconds to come back life  burden of carrying family business  lies on the shoulder of his eldest son Santino, middle one Fredo and youngest one Michel- who by any means do not want to connect his family or family business,  family’s consigliere Tom Hagen, two captains of family Peter Clemenza & Salvatore Tessio. Things turned around in fatal directions where the Santino was assassinated, Michal has to take asylum in Italy for the alleged murder of Turk Solazzo and cop. Sick and wounded Don inclined back from his bed and calls a meeting between all the five families in New York where he admit to give his political protection to drug business in exchange of safe comeback of Michal from Italy. The truce has been established after the meeting and how Corleone family gained back it’s control over the city from absolute feud is the soul part to read in book and watch on silver screen.

Godfather does not carry any principle of “natural justice” or for that matter “poetic justice.” There are millions of people who still like this novel including me. This novel helped me a lot to stand in my legal practice. Strange but truth! Every time you read or watch Godfather do not leave your head out of it’s mesmerizing plot. The novel do not have any positive or humanitarian values. Most of the pages are filled with Mafia feuds, their bloody aspires,  their sanguinary, sexual exploitations still we could not find answer why Godfather is extremely successful. Still it may be said that

There are two types of Don exists in the world. First like Haji Mastan who says

“Main Un cheezon ki smuggling karata hu jinaki izazat sarakar nahi deti. Un cheezon ki nahi jinaki izazat jameer nahi deta”

& second like Daud Ibrahim who proves that

“Kisi ki itani bad-dua lo ke log dua me sirf tumhari maut mange”

Don Corleone fits into the first. He is Mafia still he is ethical.

And I refused to be a fool, dancing on the string held by all those bigshots. I don’t apologize – that’s my life

-Don Vito Corleone

This hero who outfought the destiny and situations with all his strength become Mafia by his fate. Still his personality has many shades. He respect education although he did not take it as such, He take care each and every member of his family ( which is fairly extended to everyone who admit him his friend). He do not believe in vengeance for vengeance and vendetta for nothing. He has his own parallel government system inside the biggest democratic country of the world where he is the one who is responsible to give justice to his people. He still moans as a father for dragging Michal his youngest son in the family business. Michal Corleone is the another strong character painted by Puzo. Just like a father like a son who ultimately carry the legacy of his father. In the last part of movie we can see where Michal is standing in the church in the christening ceremony of the baby of his sister Connie. He is there to be baptized for being godfather to the little baby of his sister. The father ask him question “ Michael Francis Rizzi , Do you renounce satan?” Michaal nods his head saying, “I do renounce him” The next question comes from father, “And all his works?” Michal answers “I do renounce them.” Last question come up from father as “And all his pomps?” Michal gave answer in his grave voice as “I do renounce them” On the background of these question answers we can see  all the loyal assassins  of Corleone family capturing and executing the assassination of Moe Green, Barzini, Tatglia and all other mafia families in New York giving flaming victory to Corleones. The scene has been pictured in a fabulous way.

We can meet many characters of Godfather in our day today life. Perhaps we may find the glimpse of Don Corleone or Michal Corleone in ourselves every time when we are struggling against the unfinished business we have with our destiny. The day will come when every country shall have the equal justice system for every human till date the legacy of Corleone family would survive for generations to generations.

– Simply Anjali

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  1. A wonderful review!

    • Thank you so much Sarika madam for your valuable inputs.

    • Thanks a lot. Will try to write more info like this in future if you want to know more about Godfather . Then original book and movie are the best sources. More than that you can dig out more info at IMBD site

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