Like most of the people out there, I am a big fan of Hollywood films and I like to watch a lot of action and Sci-fi movies. I go to these movies more for the visual and sound effects. And I never enjoyed comedy, romantic comedies and drama kind of movies – the slower ones I mean. One of my friend started watching some of the classic movies and kept telling me about them. Had always heard about Al Pacino and Robert de Niro as one of the greats but never managed to see their movies.
One fine day I happened to see “ScarFace” and that’s when Al Pacino completely blew me over. A story of a Cuban refugee rising as a Mafia leader, Al simply gave an outstanding performance in this movie – his slang, body language and everything. I am not gonna get in to details about this movie but this one made me watch God Father again. I just finished watching till Part II of it and now I know why it is #2 in IMDB top 250 movies of all time.
The first part shows an aging Don (Marlon Brando) handing over the control to his reluctant son (Al Pacino). The movie runs for close to 3 hours and it was a wholesome movie. It shows the life of the Mafia leader, their families, enemies, how the govt plays with them, how they are ruthless. Wonderful performance by Marlon Brando, the movie shows how Al Pacino transforms from a young war hero to a Don. The music adds a lot to the movie and if you happen to patiently sit through the movie – at the end of it you get the feeling of watching a wholesome movie…Al Pacino underplays a lot in this movie and he didn’t really wow me in this one. But the last scene where he takes control of everything, sits in the chair and one of the guy kisses on his forehand and the door of his room closes – wow, one of the best endings for a movie and it creates that impact on you.
The second part…its completely Al Pacino all over, though Robert De Niro gives his best performance in his first movie itself. Towards the end of the first part only Al Pacino takes control of the family and becomes the Don. In the second part he is an experienced Don now and completely controls the family, business and Nevada. With complete under play of his character he manages to show the power the Don has. For example,
1. When the Senator visits Al and stands up in front of him and points his index finger and gives order to Al Pacino, Al is sitting crossed legs and looks at the finger and moves his eye ball for direct eye contact with the Senator. That shows the power he has and in one eye ball movement he scares you off saying “Nobody points finger at me”. Marlon Brando shows it in the opening scene of first part in a different way by saying “Why do you come to me now? You do not offer your friendship anymore”.
2. When Al Pacino learns from his wife that she actually got an abortion done and it wasn’t a miscarriage, he shows his anger growing inside and gives a slap to his wife. Till this moment he would have talked very patiently with his wife telling that he is making changes in his life.
3. Scenes where he reunites with is sister and forgives is brother (who was a traitor to him) were so heavy with Al showing how much family means to a man and the background score that adds more fuel to the fire.
The characterization was just too good in the entire movie. All the brothers were contrast to each other – Michael(Al) being calm, composed and cool, Sonny is the hot headed guy and Fredo is the stupid, dumb guy. But the best part is that these characters live in the movie and they undergo changes in the due course of the movie. In 5 plus hours of the two parts the director shows the life of the main characters and how they evolve.
And yeah, in the second part, Robert De Niro plays the young Vito Corleone. I heard this is his first movie – but it doesn’t look like. Simply pulled it through wonderfully. Almost everybody plays their role with perfection in this movie – Kay(Diane Keaton), Tom, Roth, Frankie, Fredo, the Senator…
One can clearly find out that Kamal and Mani Ratnam were greatly inspired by this movie and had some of the scenes straight into Nayagan. Scenes where the old Kamal runs his hand over his oiled hair, the DIG telling Kamal about his molested girl are direct lift-off from this movie. And yeah, the scene where Kamal successfully unloads the “stuff” and comes and gives it off as a gift to Reddy brothers – it is from ScarFace.
I am actually not able to express fully after watching these two parts – it is more of a feeling. It definitely would test your patience initially. But it is just a matter of time – once you cross that hurdle this movie would just amaze you. In fact towards the end of second part I was looking at the time left and was upset that the movie was going to end soon (after watching a 3.15 hours hollywood movie). I heard the third part isn’t this great – but having watched this much, I don’t think I would skip it.
And yeah, the sub titles made a lot of difference this time.