An offer bollywood couldn’t refuse | Culture | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • The Bollywood Hard-sell
    June 29, 2013
    Whether it's playing housie with housewives or spooking journos with fake ghosts, the Bollywood hype machine is in top gear.
  • Till cinema do us part
    June 15, 2013
    Films are a great binding factor, or so the late film critic Roger Ebert would have us believe.
  • To serve with love
    June 15, 2013
    A film that bagged an award at Cannes this year tells of a love story aided unwittingly by the noted 'dabbawallas' of Mumbai.
More in this Section
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy

An offer bollywood couldn’t refuse


Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Godfather’ isn’t just a mafia epic that stormed the box office as well as the Oscars. For many filmmakers, it is a textbook of cinema. The movie has defined their work, left indelible imprints on their consciousness. Time has only added to the film’s strength and beauty. Even today, 40 years since it was first released on March 15, 1972, ‘The Godfather’ makes for compelling viewing. Avijit Ghosh talks to three Bollywood directors about what the movie means to them


Paan Singh Tomar and Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster

Godfather is generally seen as a mafia film. I read it as a family film. The Corleone family is very rooted and the way it operates is very feudal in nature. The film underlines the positive feudal values of protection and patronage. You might find some common features between them and the Chambal dacoits of the 1950s and '60s. Godfather is also about surviving in a foreign land, about a community finding foothold in a difficult terrain.
I first saw the film as a kid in Allahabad's Palace theatre. I didn't understand much of the movie though my father tried to put the story in perspective for me. Now as a filmmaker I realise how the movie was shot in a classical way. There's little camera movement, except for the scene where you see the chopped head of the racehorse in the room. Yet every sequence commands your attention. The movie had great dialogues too. Mario Puzo's book was pulp fiction. Francis Ford Coppola converted it into a classic.


Sarkar, Satya and Company 

Igot Mario Puzo's book from a friend during my college days. He said it had a hot scene on page 27. I first read page 27 and then the rest of the book. It is well-known in the film industry and I know the entire book inside out.

The Godfather has defined my life and career. Coppola's movie gave me tremendous insight into people and the politics of relationships between them. The so-called mafia aspect just drove that basic aspect much more stronger and deeper into everyone's consciousness although nobody really knew about the mafia when the movie came out. The movie had a global connect. So long as people's emotional conflicts exists and their politics of relationship exists, The Godfather will live.

Coppola showed the mafia don sitting with his family like any other family man. But after they saw the film, many said that they had similar people in their own towns. But the movie wasn't just about the mafia;it was about family, power and organisation. Coppola's movie had a certain look and atmosphere. It is full of powerful characters. And it works even today. Sarkar's tone was influenced more by Mario Puzo's book than the movie. The novel is more intense than the movie.


Arth, Naam, Sadak 

The first thing that hit me about The Godfather was the way it depicted the powerlessness of the powerful. It took you inside the heart of those regarded as invincible and showed that they bleed, cry and tremble just like the rest of us. The bad guys are not devoid of human attributes. They are brothers and fathers too. The movie was a very moving document in that way.

The portayal of Don Corleone by Marlon Brando is the greatest performance I have seen. Brando gave dignity to the role. A lesser actor would have turned it into a caricature. You see the genius of director Francis Ford Coppola in the movie. He inhales the world that he has lived as an Italian-American and exhales it on celluloid. Some of the scenes in the film - Godfather's daughter Connie getting beaten up by her husband, Sonny getting gunned down in the petrol pump, Godfather's adopted son Tom (Robert Duvall) breaking the news of Sonny's (James Caan) death to Don Corleone - are etched in your mind like photographs. Coppola not only shows you a tragedy but makes you its witness. Like David Lean's Dr Zhivago, the movie has a haunting quality. Whenever you experience something like this so intensely, it echoes within you for the rest of life. The word masterpiece is often used irresponsibly to categorise movies. But The Godfather really deserves it.

Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik |


itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service