The Godfather is a world-famous masterpiece directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1972. According to multiple expert reviews and public opinion, the movie is nearly peerless film-making (Chiang). The film has a marvelous screenplay, flawless cast, excellent camera-work, and mindful composition. The present paper offers an analysis of the movie considering art elements and principles of design. According to the analysis, the film is valued for its unity, balance, and contrast.
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Unity and Balance
The most important element of the movie is the sense of harmony of all its parts. Coppola organized and designed all aspects of composition so that they concord with each other, painting a holistic picture of the criminal world in the middle 1900s. At the same time, all elements create a perfect equilibrium since action scenes are followed by mindful conversations, and the positive sides of being a criminal leader are balanced by the drawbacks. None of the elements seem redundant or out of place, which is vital for the composition to be effective.
The movie is built upon contrasts and controversies, which makes it appealing and stimulating. Contrast is seen everywhere from camera work to composition, making the viewer wonder about the questions asked by the director. For instance, in the opening scene, the camera first captures Nino Rota’s evil eyes and skeleton-like face. However, as the picture zooms out, the viewer sees a meek and balding middle-aged man. This is an excellent example of how Coppola uses contrast even within one scene. On the macro level, the viewer is forced to feel empathy with a criminal leader, which is controversial.
The Godfather is a well-composed movie that emphasizes unity, balance, and contrast. All of the scenes seem in place, which helps to achieve equilibrium in composition. At the same time, the feeling of controversy is promoted throughout the movie by showing the contrasting aspects of the life of a criminal leader.
- Chiang, James. Shot Analysis: The Godfather. Animated Spirit. Web
- Coppola, Francis Ford. The Godfather. Paramount Pictures, 1972.