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9.9 35 10
FanMix March 27, 2021 6641
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Wraith's chronological reconstruction of this cherished masterpiece highlights the bittersweet existence of the protagonist, Vito Corleone. While other reviews of this fanedit have tended to focus on the technical quality of the editing (and showing admiration for Wraith's technical expertise), I found Wraith's restructuring of the narrative itself to the the pinnacle of his efforts.

Vito Corleone's entire life (excluding the first few years of his childhood) was one of misfortune and setbacks. From a modern perspective, Vito had suffered from multiple emotional/psychological traumas (the murder of his father, brother and mother, and the attempts on his life as a child as he fled from Sicily). Those events gave Vito a twisted sense of honour, combined with a fierce sense of self-preservation: he would survive any situation, no matter the cost, either to himself (selling his soul) or anyone else (selling their soul or losing their life). This personal loss at such a young age also cemented in his mind the value of family, which was why he was so loyal to his family and to those outside the Corleone bloodline who demonstrated loyalty to him.

The restructuring of the film sequence by Wraith also makes apparent what was glossed over in the original edit from the cinema cuts when these movies were shown to audiences in the early 1970s. When Italian immigants arrived in America, there were no social services to support them to make the transition to life in America easier. There were no employment agencies or government-operated department of housing to find accommodation for the new arrivals. The mafia was able, more often than not, to establish a barter system with the Italian immigants - favours for favours. In doing so, the mafia families were able to secure their own position as the leaders of the Italian communities, arranging housing (small apartments) and jobs for the destitute newcomers. This was how the young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) got his initial start in the crime 'business' and it also explained how he rose in status, because it showed how he helped the new immigrants, both when they arrived and years later when they were established. This became all the more obvious when the older Vito (Marlon Brando) was granting their requests during the reception at his daughter's wedding.

The success of the Corleone family in the criminal underworld was also the driving force that led to its downward spiral. The family had kept its hands 'clean' by only participating in prostitution, gambling and the sale of alcohol during the Prohibition Era... but power is relative, it is not an absolute. The power of the Corleone family could only be measured by the strength, or weakness, of other competing families, and since the only way for the family to remain in a position of power was to increase its economic revenue, the sons of Vito had to do what Vito himself had chosen to avoid - engage in the selling of heroin. Vito's sons, Sonny (James Caan), Tom (Robert Duvall) and Michael (Al Pacino) all chose to take the Corleone family down a far darker path, with the resulting power struggles and treachery that caused the deaths of so many men in the Italian/American community during the 1940s, '50s and '60s.

Wraith's fanedit, the reorganisation of the flow of the narrative, and the inclusion of the extra deleted scenes meant that he has achieved the impossible: he has raised the original The Godfather/The Godfather: Part 2 to the status of a modern Shakespearean Tragedy (a tragic drama).

Well done Wraith!

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