Gang Violence in The Godfather
About the author: Georgia Kliff is a master in Literature at Maryland University. She is currently working as one of the best writers at the place where you can find information about how to write business management essay She also studies male psychology.
The movie, The Godfather, starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino and directed by Francis Ford Coppola uses various design and photography techniques that support the theme of gang violence. Specific techniques such as mise en scene provide a means through which the viewers can interpret the main also presented by the characters in the film (Richardson, 2012). Moreover, cinematography technique of photography emphasizes more on different kinds of relationship between the characters but not support the gang violence. Then, design elements of costumes contribute to the physical and social status of the characters to show the ability of the gang life to pay off in the real world (Graham, 2005). Therefore, all of the techniques or design elements serve to support the theme of gang violence as a lucrative business venture rather than a mere street wrangles between the factions of families with drug rackets. Hence, this paper discusses the techniques of mise en scene and photography as well as the design perspective of costume to develop the theme of gang violence.
Mise en scene in the movie The Godfather depicts the lifestyle of gang members, which involves understanding, closeness, strong family ties, further cooperation, and collaborations needed in a gang faction. The placing of characters in frames in the movie takes the closed form ensuing that the idea of the strong social bond between the given faction members become visible to the viewers (Richardson, 2012). The scenes include even the close proximities between any two conversing characters who support the need for honesty and trust between gang members. This use of mise en scene does not correspond to the contemporary show of only actual street violence as the mean of depicting the gang activities. For instance, the closed forms in the frames communicate that the violence elements in gang groups originate from properly planned strategies that are only executed in the streets. An example of a scene with the frame with a closed form is when the Hagen and Sollozo meet and talk about how to force Sonny into a deal. Thus, the proximity between them is reduced to a very short distance and closed form shows the very details on the faces (Graham, 2005). For instance, the fury on the face of Sollozo is quite conspicuous as the fear in Hagen become apparent. Therefore, mise en scene strengthens the viewer’s ability to understand the activities and feelings of gang members behind the scenes that culminate into the street violence that are usually the most striking part.
Furthermore, the movie uses cinematography, especially, photography to emphasize the theme of gang violence. Photography helps elaborate the details of the closed meetings such as those between two characters while exposing the activities that happen in the open streets. The closed door meetings between even two characters take place with close cameras to enable zooming into the details of the conversations (Richardson, 2012). Likewise, closed forms in the mise en scene reinforce theses fine details, the close photographs enable facial expression and body language to add to the verbal communication between the two characters. For instance, the meeting between Fredo and Moe Greene as the former receives the favor to hide in the former’s house is well-developed through the close photography (Graham, 2005). Conversely, the street wars between the rival gangs are explained by a mix of the angle and aerial photography. While angle photography provides the means to examine the details of activities such as gunshots, the aerial counterparts elaborate on the wider views for large coverage of the subject matter below. Angle photography proves useful in the scene whereby Sonny confronts Carlo in the street for mistreating his sister, who is married to the latter. Then, the aerial photography captures the blast that kills Apollonia, Michael’s wife (Graham, 2005). Therefore, photography, as part of cinematography, facilitates the theme of gang violence in the movie.
Furthermore, the consuming aspect of design gives a different perspective to gang violence. It is different from the mainstream depiction of violence as associated with the actual street people to have even the civilized corporate business people as violent. The dressing codes of the characters in the movie are decent and respectful. Thereby, it deceives one that the coats and suits are associate with upright life (Richardson, 2012). However, the views of the movie realize that the dressing of the personalities in a film never show the true nature of violence until they actually commit one. Consequently, gang violence is portrayed in the film by the character as very much concealed rather than a transparent vice. Thereby, the members of society can take caution to scrutinize a person who appears in decent clothing as a way of avoiding violence and gang groups. Every character in the movie, such as Greene and Michael, wear suits that may appear deceitful to any other person in the street (Graham, 2005). In fact, the number of clothing and the style of dressing match the modern fashions that attract respect and honor. However, the depiction of violence after the view of the decency leaves the views with different view of gang violence. Therefore, the costume is a fundamental tool in the movie that contributes to the theme of gang violence.
In conclusion, the movie The Godfather uses techniques and design elements that develop its main themes of gang violence. Specifically, mise en scene, photography, and costuming combine to reinforce the theme in various ways. Mise en scene mainly comes in closed form for frames that reinforce closeness of the family members who engage in the gang activities. Cinematography of photography, then, reinforces the close activities as well as the distant ones by use of angle and aerial photography. Besides, costuming comes to stress that even the decently dressed and socially well people also engage in the gang violence. Therefore, the movie uses these techniques and design to further the theme.