From your garden-variety run-from-the-law thug, to the misunderstood maniacal scientist or the introverted girl scared of finding her away about the world, the term ‘Anti-hero’ is too broad a character to typecast; and so to reflect thematic issues associated, we can’t simply plunk the subheadings of ‘greedy’, ‘abusive’ or ’crazy’ etc upon them. The only independent variable, in the making of an anti-hero, through our own experiences and contextual environment, is their ability to make a connection with us. Be it with the presentation of our desires through their actions or the recognition of ourselves when imagined being faced with similar conditions. They may showcase the regular personality or universally felt emotions and in both glorified and/or horrified aspects, the anti-hero is more relatable then their ‘perfect’ counter part of ‘hero’. To illustrate this concept and to demonstrate the scope of variety between them, the two text’s investigated are ’The Godfather’ (part one) and ‘Of Mice and Men’.
The 1972 release, ‘The Godfather‘, first a book by Mario Puzo before being transformed into three-part film by Francis Coppola - is the movie hailed a masterpiece, rendering many imitations, parodies and shameless impersonations. This infamous gangster text which, while confirming our preconceived notions of the mafia; a life of murder, gambling, male chauvinism, blackmail and corruption, can tell the tale of what might be “the greatest family movie ever made”. Appealing to our sense of intrigue, the audience, as onlookers inside such a secretive, often glamorised world, respond not with repulsion but instead are enticed to feel a sense of loyalty to the family including us in the environment where mobsters are “never to tell anyone outside the family what they’re thinking”.
While the ‘Godfather’ was not “any representation of the average Italian-American”, the displaying of a culture; the language, music, food and ’old county’ values- apart from the added authenticity and humour of recognition, where audience members can ’smell the spaghetti’, synchronises the experiences of many migrant families. Suddenly a story of the mob, transforms itself into the story of a family; of typical hardships and the struggles of assimilation- a completely relatable topic for many , with migration becoming all the more present post-WW11.
Not only can the surrounding environment and consequent lifestyle our characters lead make a significant impact on a film, a likeably or at least some sort of sympathy with our protagonists is crucial to its success. Our predominant Anti-hero, Vito Corleone, the Don of the family, is a man who, with politicians in his pocket, connections to every field in business and a substantial bit of wealth to his name, has the sway to have a large say. From camera-shots screened from his perspective, to the way he is addressed and responded to, his power is re-confirmed throughout the film. Easily, a viewer can become...