Drink ALL the Wine
Ideally, this game can be used for any of the movies in the Godfather trilogy, but for the purposes of our test, we used the first in the series. We treated the game like a party. People were constantly coming in and out, we ordered a pizza, and the wine flowed like a river. A dark, slow movie like this didn't seem likely to be a huge conversation piece, but it was, and we all had a blast.
But what you really want to know, I bet, is how many bottles of wine we went through that night. The answer is six. Read on, good friends.
"The (OH GOD)father": Rules
1. Drink for Title Drops. Simple. That's every time they say "Godfather".
2. Drink when they drink
3. Drink for daddy issues. We'll explore that later
4. Drink for monologues. For simplicity's sake, that's thirty seconds or more of uninterrupted speech.
5. Drink for physical displays of affection. Italians are very touchy-feely.
6. Drink for gunshots. NOT INDIVIDUAL SHOTS
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink when there is a child or an infant present on screen. Only once per scene, that's all you'll need.
2. Drink when someone speaks in Italian. It only takes one word.
3. Drink when some variation on the phrase "The Don wants you" is used.
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink during negotiations.
2. Drink when someone smokes.
3. Drink for blood.
The Fuzzy Masked Man: The Informant (Easy)
Pooh Daddy: The Gun (Easy)
Some Guy: The Consigliere (Easy)
Big Moose: The Girlfriend (Medium)
Shirley Whiskas: The Moll (Medium)
Dijan de Nero: The Heir (Medium)
The Bishop: The Don (Medium)
Talk about offers you can't refuse. I wouldn't refuse another glass of wine!
...They can't all be good.
So much so that we were compelled to order a pizza about twenty minutes in. Upon its arrival, Champjagne Austgin remarked that it "smelled like The Godfather".
Part of what makes this movie wonderful is that amidst all of the guns and gore, you get to see a lot of really nice details about the personal lives of these five families. Yes, they're all governed by the mafia (which, awesome enough, is a word that is never used in the movie), but everyone else seems to get along, there's plenty of intermingling, there's always lots of kids running around (drink). It's like there's an unspoken agreement that all the dangerous crap that goes down be kept very discreet.
The movie has two weddings: one outside of New York and one in Italy. Also, one of the most famous scenes in the movie interlays a baptism and a murderous battle of bullets. The film is constantly holding up contrasts between ceremony and duty, loyalty and obligation, honor and hypocrisy. The two sides of an institutional coin. The darkness hidden beneath a veil of gaity and conviviality.
Thematic elements aside, the best way the movie draws you into its world is through several scenes in which the characters only speak in Sicilian--that is not subtitled. These scenes aren't inconsequential; they usually involve mafiosos attempting to settle debts, strike negotiations, air grievances...y'know, the type of scenes that are the LIFEBLOOD of most dramas. And most of its audiences cannot understand a word.
"I wish I could listen to English the way I'm listening to this Italian," said Moose. Forced to focus on the way the characters are communicating instead of the words they are saying, we the audience are not only shown an authentic slice of the film's world, we are shown that there are aspects of the world that we cannot fully comprehend. We listen to the cadence of the speech, the tone, the shape of the words, and we get the general idea. But the details are left in the dark, which adds to the sinister tone of the movie. A beautiful choice on Coppola's part, it proves that sometimes it's best that the audience doesn't know what's going on.
...Kinda makes our lighthearted ribbing seem a little childish.
Not Pulling Any Punches
Most of this movie is loaded with people sitting around and talking. What all that negotiation does is make the moments that are bloody as hell really pop.
Let's take a look at that iconic "horse head" scene. It's creepy enough on its own. But it is the first sight of blood the audience gets after over half an hour of non-stop partying at an Italian wedding. Only after 20 minutes of exposition do we get our first look of gore, and it's more than super effective.
"I heard when they filmed that, they didn’t tell him what they were going to do," said Cabby. "They just said there’d be something in the bed." She was close, but the truth is actually much creepier: the scene was practiced with a plastic horse head covered in fake blood. During the real take, they replaced the fake with a real horse head they'd obtained from a factory that manufactured dog food.
Because the violence is seen as a direct consequence of negotiation gone wrong, the more talky scenes are actually more chilling. Dijan de Nero labeled the final scene of the movie as the scariest. Michael is confronted by his sister, who accuses him of killing her husband, and he denies it, even though it was his word that resulted in his death.
"He didn't kill him," said Pooh Daddy.
"Right," added Big Moose, "he didn't kill him. He HAD him killed."
Violence is only as terrifying as the one dealing the blows.
And One for the Ladies
And that's fine.
I am defending the choice to make these female characters relatively passive and one-dimensional, because this movie is not about them. If they possessed any more spirit or will, it would undercut one of the ultimate messages that the movie imparts to the viewers: that the system under which these families operate cannot allow its leaders to operate under any guise of normalcy. They cannot make connections. They cannot show emotion. They cannot afford to seem weak.
Let's look at Michael's two ladies. His Italian wife, Apollonia, barely has three sentences of untranslated dialogue. What we know about her is that Michael and her have great chemistry, and she has a great rack.
Then we've got Kay (who we had trouble recognizing as Diane Keaton), a pretty normal, happy woman who deeply loves Michael and gets dropped by him as soon as his involvement with his family business grows. If the relationship had continued normally, perhaps their lack of chemistry would have made itself apparent and the relationship would have fizzled out.
However, as Shirley Whiskas says, "Nothing's going to make a woman want you more than denying her affection." As Michael pulls away, Kay seems to cling on more tightly, until finally Michael flees to Sicily. She was branded as a cheerful outsider early on in the movie, and nothing makes this clearer than her attempts to carry on as planned while Michael's dirty deeds and family tragedies pile up.
It's a difficult task, and one that Kay does not seem ready for. And that adds an extra layer to the drama.
What's the Issue?
But there is the pesky fact that he is, in fact, a mob boss. So there's BOUND to be issues. His job creates issues, even if he as a person does not intend for those issues to be there.
So how do you drink for this rule? You can't just drink for the presence of a legitimate problem (trust me, the game's difficult enough). It's too nebulous.
But there are moments you can point out. When Vito and Michael talk business with each other. When Michael moves his father to a different hospital room because he's afraid he'll get offed. When Vito learns that Sonny is dead. Any intersection between the family ties and the job, basically.
Feel free to get creative, because the rest of the rules are airtight. I don't remember the last hour of this movie, and at one point my astute observations were reduced to narrating meaningless activity on the screen.
Drink when someone eats something.
It doesn't happen all that much, but I like the theme of having rules for eating, drinking and smoking.
Drink when you see a man wearing a hat.
Lifted from my "Maltese Falcon" drinking game, this will put your observational skills to the test. Because most scenes take place inside, the men are generally hatless. Generally.
Add "Latin" to the drink anything in Italian rule.
Once again, this doesn't add much, but it helps make one scene feel like a punch in the face after you're done with it.
For Your Inebriation is written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). Video footage is taken by Pooh Daddy (Vincent Graham) and edited by Seb (Amy Yourd). All "Godfather" images are owned by Paramount.