When Mario Puzo had written his epic work, THE GODFATHER, one dialogue that stood out and reverberated throughout the trilogy was – “Revenge is the Dish that tastes the best when it is cold”. Revenge indeed was the defining idiom that made this saga an epic to be watched repeatedly and every time when one watched it, a new facet of the film was revealed.
As we are celebrating the Golden Jubilee of GODFATHER it indeed is an opportune moment to travel through the annals of the trilogy and see how the three versions have had such a profound effect on the fans all across the world.
As we celebrate the 50th year, here are few lessons of life that one could adopt from the film:
Nothing above the family
Family is the binding element and is the focus for an individual. If one ignores the family, then he loses the value proposition in life. Michael Corleone, the character played by Al Pacino who never was enamored by the family business (Mafiosi), took the command when the need arose and underlined that in life only family matters and nothing else.
Family should always bond as a singular unit
Dissent in the family should never be disclosed at any public forum or else it becomes a catalyst for the termites to set in and start eating into. The popular saying from Ramayana- Ghar ka bhedi lanka dhaye or the person from family who shares family secrets to outside has the potential to annihilate Lanka- the luxurious abode of Ravana. In GODFATHER either Don Corleone or his son, they never allowed any individual from the family to become an informer and Al Pacino’s character was quite ruthless to underline it repeatedly, and the character did not leave even a brother, a husband of the sister or even the son of sister for the sake of family.
Don’t run for easy money, stick to principles and ethics
Astonishing as it may sound, Don Corleone never compromised on the principles of his business and executed it with due diligence and never did step into the business of drugs, though there was a huge opportunity to mint money. He set an example to run the business of illegality in the most legally correct manner.
Emotions should never guide process of decision making
GODFATHER has time and again underlined that emotion should never be a reference point while making a decision. The character of Sonny Corleone the eldest son of Don Corleone is a living testimony the way his character was etched out to drive home the point eloquently.
Do not forget your roots
In the quest to urbanize, migration is the channel vehicle from villages to the cities. However, having migrated generally we burn the bridge through which we came. GODFATHER through the character of Michael Corleone underlines the maxim that if you are watering the roots, the roots protect, as it happened with Michael when the heat started building around him, he was shifted to the native place where he could lie low for some time and prepare himself to launch fresh in the urban landscape.
Friendship should be such that it endures across hierarchies and timelines
GODFATHER did survive and thrived on relationships that he had built as he progressed in his life and he never left them at any stage. The most poignant moment of the value of friendship was in the first part of trilogy when Sonny Corleone was butchered down, and Don Corleone approached his friend to repair his son’s body and make him presentable.
In times of war never be emotional to go solitary, never leave your team in a fit of rage
When the Mafiosi declared war against the Corleone family, in a fit of rage Sonny Corleone leaves his safe house to settle an issue with his brother-in-law arising out of an emotional rage, without his security he is butchered down mercilessly.
Change your team with succession, build your own team
When Michael Corleone takes over the family business he reconstructs the whole team and brings in his team of faithful’s. Whenever a new leader takes charge, he should not operate with the baggage of the previous regime but build up a new team.
These are lessons of life which have an eternity and continue to be a source of inspiration for life.