Character Analysis - Sony Corleone - The Godfather

Santino 'Sonny' Corleone: Vito's eldest son, Fredo and Michael's brother, has a hot temper. His private life is in a mess, he has many mistresses besides wife, but he tries his best to protect his relatives and family’s reputation. As the eldest son of the Lyon family, he is supposed to be the successor of the family business, but he is murdered by the opponent due to his reckless character.

In the movie, Sandino is acted as a reckless, arrogant, irritable, and mindless guy. After hearing about that his sister's is suffered from domestic violence again, he rushed to revenge brother-in-law for her. But the brave character lacking intelligence was shot like a sieve by people of Tatalian family who ambushes in the toll booth. As a matter of fact that Mario Puzo's description of Santino in the novel is more vivid than in the movie.

The most impressive scenes in the film are: the old godfather suffers attack, the Corleone family is about to crumble, and the Sandino got the new of assassination. He is sad and indignant, and with irrepressible excitement -"I can finally be in charge". Through various description of Sandino previously, readers can image the Sandino’s psychological activity naturally, because his thought is easy to be thought. ——However, in the novel when Sandino receives the news that his father is assassinated, he gives orders one after another in an orderly manner. He is angry and wants to rush into the Tatalya family with a machine gun and kills all of them. But due to his social experience and natural acumen of imminent battles, his first reaction is internal investigation instead of open hostilities comprehensively. Indeed, on the basis of the film’s subtle descriptive direction, all the audiences think that the elder son with hot temper will dial a lot to take wars with forces after the call. Nevertheless, the screen changes in to a scene that the family begin to discuss tactics instead. It is worth appreciating and analyzing in the novel that: After receiving the call, Sandino immediately contacts Theo and Clemenza, and asks the father's personal bodyguard - Riley's "illness" calmly with chilling majesty. Taking advantage of his prestige, Sandino deliberately warns others in advance.

Otherwise, Clemenza will not be scared and quickly behave a sincere attitude on the other side of the call. This is the real Sandino, although lacking restraint and patience, he does not lose to his younger brother Michael in the field of dangerous situations and people’s mindsets insights. The film actually did not interpret well after Michael comes up with a planning of assassinating Solozzo and the sheriff. Instead through Clemenza’s words “I don’t want my younger brother find his unarmed!”, the elder brother's worry and praise for his younger brother can be embodied.

In the novel, Puzo uses a long paragraphs to foreshadow Michael’s helplessness, Sandino’s intentional indifference, as well as Sandino’s stupid worry about his younger brother after Michael reveals his inner planning. However, the topic has been changed and says: Actually, Michael has been waiting for this words for a long time. Sandino apparently has already knew that the solver must be Michael, but he could not ask his younger brother to be trapped in danger as an elder brother. On the other hand, if desiring to become a truly respected man, he needs to strive for his own opportunities. Therefore, Sandino has no choice but to pretend that he can’t come up with solutions. Except for the father, Sandino has the highest-leveled dickey and view in the Corleone family.

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