I had the pleasure of watching The Godfather on Sunday at the historic Tampa Theater during their annual Summer Classic Series. They play a series of classic movies through the years and I when I saw The Godfather on the schedule I knew I couldn't miss it.
Of course, The Godfather is a great movie and not much needs to be said there. It was nice seeing it on the big screen as it came out several years before I was born. I could really observe some of the interesting lighting and shading effects in the scenes that I wouldn't pay much attention to on my 29 inch TV, which made for a better experience.
But what I really found most interesting was certain elements of dialogue, namely the addressing of Michael Corleone. Being named Michael myself, I pay attention to when people call me "Michael", "Mike", or even "Mikey". Corleone is addressed as all three during the movie.
Corleone's brother and friends predominantly call him "Mike" when addressing him but "Michael" when talking about him. This is similar to how the same type of people address me, although many also tend to call me "Mike" when talking about me. It is a casual peer thing, and I would feel uncomfortable if friends called me "Michael" and I don't remember the last time my brother addressed me as such.
Corleone's girlfriend/wife Kay addresses him as "Michael" almost 100% of the time. Normally, I don't object to women calling me "Michael". It doesn't carry the authoritative tone of a man's "Michael", unless it is used in an state of anger or annoyance. Some female friends have even taken to calling me "Michael" all the time. At first it's a little strange, but I get used to it. It becomes something unique to them. Some even mix it up in the same conversation. A waitress I am familiar with, for example, said "Hi, Mike" and "Bye, Mike", but referred to me as "Michael" when she asked if I wanted another drink. When it comes to women, as long as they don't call me "asshole", I usually go with the flow.
Although women can address me as "Michael", I usually ask boyfriends and male friends of my female friends to address me as "Mike". I think there is a bit of an authoritative, dominant tone to a male calling me "Michael" that I don't like, unless that person is in an actual position of power over me such as a boss or unfamiliar with me such as a doctor. For a casual male acquaintance (such as a friend's boyfriend) to call me "Michael" after I correct them is a power show to me and I take that as an offense.
Likewise, in The Godfather, Michael Corleone's sister's husband Carlo addresses him as "Mike", even as he is begging for his life in the final scenes. He never uses an authoritative tone with his sister's brother.
Corleone is also addressed as "Mikey" by his brother Sonny several times. I have a few friends that call me "Mikey" and although it's rare, I'm cool with it, as long as I am very familiar with that person. It's the friendliest addressing and the one that requires the most familiarity and closeness.
Michael Corleone is addressed as "Michael" by his father 100% of the time. There is a hierarchical tone to this address. Don Corleone is not Michael's friend. He is in a position of authority as his father. It is also a sign of respect that he is instilling in his son by addressing him solely by his given birth name. In my case, my parents call me both "Mike" and "Michael". It's usually pretty random, although my mother tends to call me by my full name when she is mad but I'm sure that is a typical mother trait for every name.
Anyway, just a quick post on something I noticed.