This week Susie talks The Godfather and how she’s probably not the only one who hasn’t seen it [I have but it didn’t really impress me as much as it’s supposed to – Jake] . Here’s a trailer in case you haven’t seen it
As a whole, I’m completely willing to accept all the shit I get for not having seen any decent films. Chances are I probably deserve it. There is one trilogy, however, that I refuse to take any level of anger, berating, or mocking of any kind for never having seen, and that’s The Godfather. You know why? Because you haven’t fucking seen it either.
I know, I know, you say you’ve seen it, but you haven’t. I know you haven’t. Yes, you may have sat in the room while it was playing. Your eyes may even have been pointed at the screen at the time, but you haven’t actually seen it. It has been scientifically proven (probably) that the human brain cannot physically stay functional all the way through a single Godfather film. I actually tried to watch it once, and got about half an hour in before slipping into a boredom-induced coma for three days. And it’s not just me. Everyone you mention The Godfather to gets this weird glassed-over expression in their eyes, like they have a vague memory of something so upsetting that they’ve forced themselves to suppress it.
From what I can gather, the nine hundred hours of film can be simplified down to three events: the Kill Bill-esque wedding scene where everyone gets shot, the scene with the horse’s head, and several hours of interchangeable men in suits with upsetting accents discussing these two scenes in intensely boring detail. The worst bit is that it’s not even that kind of talking that you can go and make a cup of tea during, and then pick up the storyline again when you come back. It’s the kind of talking where, if you miss so much as a syllable, you’ve lost the entire plot and have to go back to the beginning to try again. You have to hang on every single weirdly-pronounced word, take notes, and possibly make a wee flow chart to have even the smallest chance of working out what the fuck is happening. And therein lies much of the problem. Nobody has that attention span. We, as a species, are not programmed to pay close attention to one thing for more than fourteen seconds at a time. That’s just asking too much too much of us.
That’s not to say that The Godfather doesn’t have its good parts. There is, of course, the famous horse’s-head-in-the-bed scene, which, everything else aside, is the most hilariously surreal method of threatening someone. On top of the shock and horror of waking up next to a horse’s head, and the annoyance of getting horse hair and blood all over your sheets, there’s the added mental torture of trying desperately to work out why the fuck, of all things, they put a horse’s head in your bed. Where did they even find this horse? How did they get it into bed beside you without waking you up? New York gangsters are, if nothing else, bizarrely creative.
The Godfather also spawned some wonderful clichés and stereotypes that I’m sure the gangster population of New York love. “Sleep with the fishes” is a particular favourite of mine. Far from coming across as sinister and threatening, as, I’m sure, was the intention, it actually sounds like a cute way of telling a child that their granny’s just died. Fuck that “gone to live with the angels” bullshit. She’s sleeping with the fishes. Napping with Nemo. Snoozing with Sebastian. It’s adorable. Cold-hearted murderers are adorable.
These scenes aside, though, I’d actually be interested to see if anyone, without the use of Wikipedia, could tell me what actually happens in The Godfather. I’m willing to bet a pint of magic that nobody can.
(While I stand by this statement, please, please don’t come to me with a plot synopsis demanding your pint of magic. That stuff is expensive and I need to buy food).