The Godfather Part III
Francis Ford Coppola
- Al Pacino as Michael Corleone
- Diane Keaton as Kay Adams
- Andy Garcia as Vincent Mancini-Corleone
- Talia Shire as Connie Corleone
- Eli Wallach as Don Altobello
- Joe Mantegna as Joey Zasa
- Sofia Coppola as Mary Corleone
The third and final entry into the epic Godfather Saga, Part III is commonly seen as the weakest. It is true that it doesn’t live up to the incredibly high standard of the two films before it, but taken as a film by itself and as the conclusion of the saga it isn’t as bad as some make it out to be.
The year is 1979 , Michael Corleone is ageing and a shadow of his former self. He is haunted by decisions he has made in the past, most prominently ordering the death of his brother Fredo, and has been trying to make family as legit as possible as a way of redemption. But no matter how hard he tries to distance himself from the business, the more it keeps coming back to him. The first instance of this is the presence of Mafia boss Joey Zasa, a cunning, double-crossing man who has a bone to pick with a member of Michael’s family. The family member is Vincent, the illegitimate son of the late Sonny, whose temper and volatile actions are clearly are inherited from his father. Michael takes Vincent under his wing and sees potential in his young nephew to inherit the position as Don. The other instance that pulls Michael back into the crime game, is a deal with the Vatican Bank, that is in actual fact a concealed swindle of Michael’s money. Whilst having to cope with all of these events, the guilt-ridden Michael tries to patch up old wounds with his ex-wife Kay, and is further troubled by Vincent’s relationship with his naive, young daughter Mary.
As I’ve mentioned earlier there are flaws within the last part of Francis Ford Coppola’s film. For one, the plot involving the Vatican Bank Scandal is sometimes to hard to follow and certainly outlandish. Also, although I respect Sofia Coppola as a director, she is unfortunately miscast in the role of Mary, a fact that many critics pointed out at the time. Sofia Coppola, despite this criticism has established herself as a respected director since this and good for her. Now I’ve spoken about the negatives, I will proceed to the positives.
Al Pacino effectively conveys Michael’s remorse for his past misdeeds and his reluctance to get involved in any further crime. His scene with Diane Keaton as the long-suffering Kay, in which both characters admit that the still care for each other is certainly a touching moment. Admirably supporting him is Andy Garcia, who is frequently electrifying as Vincent, capturing the violent nature of him but showing an undying loyalty and humanity when it comes to protecting his uncle from opposition. Talia Shire is equally as good, showing Connie’s metamorphosis from downtrodden, abused wife to master manipulator and right hand woman to her reluctant older brother. It is Shire’s best performance in the series in my opinion. As always, the music and stunning cinematography are up to an impeccable standard, showing the nostalgic glow of family ties and the savage brutality of the crime lifestyle. All of this builds up to a bullet-ridden and devastating climax to Coppola’s unbeatable trilogy.
This may be one of my most controversial reviews, but I personally think the film, because of the reputation of the other’s has been neglected to the sidelines.