One would think that a story about the Mafia would be violent and ugly, but Francis Ford Coppola's film, The Godfather, is simply beautiful, and the musical composition by Nino Rota is unforgettable and deeply moving.
The movie and the music are forever linked even if you (can) forget the story and the actors. The theme music plays in the film to show the passage of time; a change in a character's circumstances; or to bring out unspoken emotions.
And this is what remains in the music even after you take away the film: emotions that heave and swell but are too many and too complex to put into words; emotions that are universal and yet, personal. The music plays your own particular heart's melody when you listen to it: your love, your youth, your family, and the unfairness and the irresistibility of life.
I cannot say that the music might have spoken this to me if I had not watched the movie. Mario Puzo's book did not move me the way the film did. After reading the book I did want to watch the movie--I was impressed enough with the book for that--but I wasn't able to until recently. Frankly, I didn't try too hard to watch the movie because whenever I happened to see it on TV I always saw Marlon Brando or someone else sitting huge and silent, and I thought the movie must not be much like the book, which was full of action.
After watching the movies (all three parts) I'm amused at that earlier opinion of mine, especially since Brando plays a much smaller role than Al Pacino, whom, incidentally I did not recognise in the first Godfather. I did wonder who the awfully attractive actor playing Michael Corleone was, but I realised only when his name was one of those that flashed alone, importantly, at the end of the film. I didn't recognise%