For the longest time, Al Pacino, the student of Method acting (in Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio) had been famous in the American film industry for delving deep into the characters. There were times when the directors had feared that he would not return. One of them swore once that he saw Pacino's character leave the actor's body.
Sidney Lumet, who had collaborated with Al Pacino in Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon, had said that "if the day's work demanded a lunatic, he was a lunatic all day long." Passion is strong evidence of Al Pacino's career. His addiction to the rush of crawling inside gangsters, cops, heroes, scum, Satan, has not abated one jot.
At present, Al Pacino is not seen much on the celebrity circuit but has remained in the memory of Hollywood as the greatest method actor of all time. In recent times, he made his appearances in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, The Irishman, or Amazon Prime Video's Hunters. But it is vital to know that Al Pacino was more than just a supporting cast in Hollywood. In his recently appeared films, you cannot exactly observe Al Pacino and unravel his layers and layers of talent.
When you go back to films such as The Godfather Trilogy, Serpico, The Scent of A Woman and watch his performance on screen, it wouldn't take a second guess for you to unravel his nuanced skills. He adapts, evolves, breathes his last, and meets the demands of the characters and not the actors.
A quality that had been strongly noticed in his performance as Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, against all advice who nearly fired Al Pacino for under-emoting, Pacino entered Godfather as the soft-hearted, doe-eyed American boy, with combed hair, clean set of clothes, in light shades, with the face of an innocent boy. You wouldn't say that he hailed from a family of gangsters. He swiftly moves his eyes, like an anxious man when he is about to commit his first murder. By then Michael does not realise but the audience consciously knows that he has already entered his father's dark den. His clothes were darker, the lights which were on him no longer had the same effect. His expressions were more intense. He didn't need lengthy dialogues, to explain himself.
From the moment Michael enters the hospital where his wounded father was about to be finished off, Pacino whispered to Brando assuring him that he is here to stay.
It's a declaration of the son's new standing: in film frame, acting fraternity, fiction. His jaw and cheek soon crushed by a crooked cop's terrible blow, Pacino speaks in something like Brando's distinctive Vito Corleone voice for much of the rest of the film. After the near-hit, amid chaos and hysteria, Michael sits in his father's room, legs crossed, emerging as a still, sure point of authority. His presence composes the shot. How swiftly, seamlessly, Al Pacino morphs his clean-cut Marine into Mafia assassin, man into the gun, sights locked on to the main chance for stardom and success. You can see the adrenalin high taking hold as Michael slips into acting the role of killer and don - and finds it good.
This article has been written based on the availed information on actor Al Pacino, in books written by William Schoells' Al Pacino: In Films And On Stage, and Kathreen Murphy's Dancing On High Wire.