In Godfather III, Michael Corleone dies a dog’s death in the relentless Sicilian sun. He topples over from his throne filled with hate and holding an orange with a dog next to him, his face hitting the arid sand. Sans family, sans love, sans everything.
Michael Corleone, the only son with an American name, begins the story in the film dressed in military uniform returning home a war hero and bringing home an American girlfriend, telling her that (violence) is my family it’s not me. But every time he interacts with the outside world, they see him through his family, they see mafia guinea. When Michael does finally pledge his allegiance to his father, who doesn’t feel a certain joy when he says I’m with you now.
If in a Balzac novel the social climbing hero recently moved to Paris has to shed his provincial ways to make every gesture one of social grace or else he’d give himself away, then in America he has to erase traces of his heritage. No more buying oranges, lawyers not violence, and get that cannoli out of my house. Along Michael Corleone’s journey to becoming American and less Sicilian, moving from the criminal underworld to the world above, you have other Americans who came and settled just a little bit before him, telling him no matter how much money he makes or how much he tries to be, he will never be American. You’ll always be a puppet you muppet. But the world above has just as many crooks and dishonest men as the world below, different weapon same intent.
The higher he climbs and the cleaner he makes his money, the more he loses his loved ones. His intentions were good and yet where does Michael Corleone go so wrong, even he wonders by the end “why am I so hated?”