Movie Analysis Essay on "The Godfather"

Paper Type:  Movie review
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1825 Words
Date:  2022-12-20


In 2016, the rate of crime rose in the USA, a situation that led to more attention in the fight against criminal acts. In spite of the established policies and legislation to curb criminality, the number of crimes is increasing. Investigations have provided insufficient information to the government for appropriate interventions in the fight against crimes. The secret behind successful crime incidences with less identification of criminals lies in the kind of communication used in crime relationships. Experienced criminologists also attest that the type of communication used in crime relationships leads to an inability to accessing some information by the government. The film "The Godfather" illustrates how verbal communication occurs in criminal relationships. This paper will analyze different communication dynamics in criminal relationships as seen in the movie to indicate an understanding of the components of personal and criminal relations. The analysis will demonstrate how different characters in the film exchange information related to offences like murder, drug trafficking, bribery, and theft. Therefore, the assessment of this movie leads to a greater understanding of the kind of verbal communication involved in criminal relationships to help in the adoption of appropriate strategies for crime investigations. The types of verbal communication mechanisms for analysis in this movie include groupthink, dialogue, self-disclosure, argument, conflict, mass media, as well as an illustration of the stages of relational development.

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"The Godfather" movie is about the Corleone family which is headed by Vito Corleone who had four sons namely Sonny, Fredo, Michaels, and Tom. The daughter to Corleone was Connie and his son-in-law was Carlo. The movie focuses on Michael who was the youngest and brightest son to Corleone's (Chappetta, 2017). Michael became the main character in the film, and carried the title of the Godfather from his father. Michael understood the position of his father and played the Godfather position in the family business.

One way in which verbal communication occurs in relationships involving criminal offenses is group-think. People involved in criminal relationships usually engage in groupthink which refers to the process of arriving at bad decisions by a group of people due to lack of an opportunity of individuals expressing suggestions or ideas that may change the outcome of the chosen alternative (Wood, 2013). In most cases, group-think is used to avoid conflicts by arriving at a collective consensus without the analysis of the available perspectives. From the movie, the concept of groupthink occurs when Corleone together with his oldest Sonny and the family lawyer Tom arrives at a bad decision of killing Woltz's horse when he refused to offer Fontane an opportunity to act in a movie. Corleone, Tom, and Sonny as a group would have thought of inquiring why Fontane was denied a chance; this would have led to having a way out of convincing Wolts further instead of killing his a half a million dollar horse (Roosth, 2015). The three individuals applied groupthink in arriving at the slaughtering of the horse to frighten Wolts to prevent controversial issues.

From group-thinking, there is the use of dialogue in verbal communication in a relationship involving criminal offenses. Dialogue refers to a conversation between more than two people or groups, and it consists of an exchange of ideas on specific subjects that require a discussion (Wood, 2013). A relationship involving crimes applies dialogues where the involved groups and individuals meet for conversations. From the video, we find a dialogue between Sollonzzo and Corleone to discuss the operation of the narcotics smuggling. Corleone planned on how to meet Sollozzo who was requesting his financing and protection in the drug trafficking deal. As seen from the movie, dialogues are used crime deals because some matters are too sensitive to be addressed using communications techniques like public speaking or social media. As a result, Sollozza and Corleone had to arrange for a one-on-one meeting to have a moment for discussion on how to engage in the drug smuggling business.

Like in any communication, despite the reason for dialogue or the course of the groupthink, conflict is inevitable in a verbal communication among people involved in criminal behaviors. Conflict is among the centralities of conversation happening in a criminal relationship because such relations have an accompaniment of varying viewpoints, hate, and hostility (Martins, 2019). According to (Wood, 2013), conflict refers to an active disagreement between people having opposing principles or opinions. Conflicts occur at two levels, namely external and internal. External strife is when there is a struggle of the views or principle between people while the internal conflict is the presence of struggle in deciding by an individual. In the movie, the characters have shown conflicts in communications in various ways. One of the conflicts is a disagreement between Michael and the enemies of his father, Sollozzo and McCluskey. Michael plans to meet McCluskey and Sollozzo after realizing that they were behind the shooting of his father. The meeting which was arranged by Michael for peace negotiation had the intent of killing his father's assassins (Roosth, 2015). The meeting led to Michael killing Sollozzo and McCluskey because he hated them due to their attempt to assassinating his father. Another conflict exited between Sonny and his brother-in-law Carlo. The cause of this conflict was the realization by Sonny that Carlo beats Connie (Roosth, 2015). Sonny revenge by hitting Carlo using a trash can.

Media also has a place in verbal communication involving crimes and offences carried out by criminals. The role of mass media is to report to the public about the criminal act or criminals that perpetrate illegal actions. Mass media is a kind of communication to a large group of people within a short period, and it can happen as either broadcast or spoken (Wood, 2013). Examples of mass media platforms include magazine, radio, newspaper, television, the internet, as well as advertisements. Passage of information in the movie extended to the use of mass media. Journalist communicated on some of the illegalities perpetrated by the criminals in the film. For instance, newspaper headlines had the killings of Sollozzo and McCluskey. The public together with the characters like Corleone learns of the Mafia killings. Mass media was assisting the characters in knowing if the government and the public are aware of their illegal actions. The change of settings in the movie was when journalists reveal a criminal offense. For instance, Michael flees to Sicily when he realized that the media revealed his murder offense after killing Sollozzo and McCluskey (Chappetta, 2017). As a result, mass media helped in the film progression.

Though the movie is full of conflicts, hostilities, crime, as well as murder incidences, there some glimpse of romantic relationships with intimate verbal communication. Romantic relationships offered secure and peaceful moments where characters could share their personal life using self-disclosure technique. Self-disclosure is a communication process where a person reveals some personal and confidential information to another one (Wood, 2013). Such kind of communication has an accompaniment of feelings, goals, failure, aspirations, as well as dreams. Self-disclosure lead to people having a close relationship like in marriage and dating where people involved ought to know each other, and it creates intimacy and closeness. As seen from the movie, after fleeing to Sicily Michael falls in love with Apollina. Michael reveals his life to Apollina, and they become close in their relationship until her death in a car bomb that had targeted Michael. After the death of Apollina, Coleone arranges for the return of Michael back to New York. Michael comes back and meets his long term lover, Kay. At this point, there is also the depiction of self-disclosure when Michael reveals to Kay the condition of his family's business and the plan of making it legitimate. Michael used this kind of communication to win the intimacy and closeness of Kay. After the conversation, Kay becomes convinced and agreed to get married to Michael (Chappetta, 2017). As a result, the use of self-disclosure helped romantic relationships to survive in a film full of murders, hostility, bribery, drug trafficking, and betrayal.

Additionally, arguments were also part of the verbal communication techniques employed by the characters in the movie. Argument refers to a situation of exchanging opposite or diverging views on the topic under discussion (Wood, 2013). There are two kinds of arguments, namely positive and negative. In a negative argument, there is the destruction of the relationship because of the type of language or behaviors as well as the choice of words. On the other hand, a positive relationship is when the conversation leads to the selection of the most appropriate view after listening from the two sides of the discussion. The success of an argument to arrive at a positive relationship depends on the behaviors, language used, and the choice of words. Some characters of the movie had some arguments over differing viewpoints. One of the arguments in the film was the talk between Michael and Kay over their son's decision of quitting a law course to an opera singer career (Roosth, 2015). The argument occurred after Michael and Kay's divorce, and when she had brought Anthony and Mary to attend their father's medal award ceremony at St. Patrick's Cathedral. In the argument, Kay was supporting Anthony's decision while Michael was against the choice. The concern of the argument was about the future of their son because his choice of dropping the school of law to a talent-oriented career might affect him later in life.

Lastly, stages of relational development helped in establishing a verbal communication environment in the movie with a focus on the individuals involved in romantic relationships. As per (Wood, 2013), relational development refers to the phases developed by Knapp in demonstrating how communication develops when people interact with each other. The stages of relational development occur in two ways as either coming together of parting ways. The steps involved in coming together include initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating, and bonding. Coming apart stages, on the other hand, consists in differentiating, circumscribing, stagnating, avoiding, and terminating (Wood, 2013). In this movie, there are stages involved in the coming together process of relational development. The relationship between Michael and Kay is an example of the use of Knapp's relationship model of coming together. At the initiation stage of the relationship development, there is the concern of making an impression, and the center of attraction is a physical appearance with little consideration of a person's background or character. The initial phase of relational development occurs when Michael meets with Kay at Dartmouth College, and they fell in love with each other (Roosth, 2015). At this moment, Kay was not aware of Michael's criminal offenses and his family business.

The second stage of relational development is experimenting, and it involves exploration, where the parties involved make efforts of knowing each other. At this level, there is the assessment of interest, behaviors, and dislikes to allow for a decision on whether to end the relationship or continue (Wood, 2013). From the video, Kay attends Michael's sister wedding and starts to get an idea concerning Michael's criminal behaviors. Kay also realizes that Micha...

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