“Make him an offer that he can’t refuse”
is a phrase from ‘The Godfather’ films
that’s become a cinematographic cliché.
For the actor James Gandolfini it meant
the opportunity of a lifetime when given
the lead role in ‘The Sopranos’ TV play.
It was a novel way to portray a mobster:
the Mafia capo risen through the ranks
who goes on to be the leader of the pack.
The character was full of contradictions:
a devoted father, a cold-blooded killer,
a tough guy but prone to anxiety attacks.
This prompts him to go into therapy
and he unburdens his soul to Dr. Melfi
revealing a situation that is intricate.
The female psychiatrist helps Soprano
with sessions full of sexual tensions
but she’s too professional to be profligate.
The pilot of the series was so successful
that episodes after episodes ensued
and in each James Gandolfini shone.
There won’t be, alas, any more shows
with this brilliant actor, a true genius,
who has sadly, and prematurely, gone.
© Luigi Pagano 2013
Luigi Pagano is a contributor to Poetry24 and other websites. Author of three poetry collections, his work has appeared in various anthologies.