Robert De Niro is not in a position to make the president of the United States an offer he can’t refuse. Although he’d love to. The most he can do is make a suggestion in front of a national TV audience. It turned out to be a short one.
Not too classy. And not all that eloquent either.
You would think that De Niro, at age 74, might have gained some wisdom just by reflecting on some of the many roles he’s played.
Let’s start with the one that propelled him to stardom: the young Vito Corleone in “The Godfather, Part II.”
When the Don had a beef with someone, he’d work things out with them. OK, sometimes he’d have to blow the guy away. But other times, he’d merely present a few salient points, and that would be enough to convince his adversary to relent.
Remember the scene where, coming to the aid of an old widow that had been evicted, De Niro as Corleone pleaded with her landlord to let her stay. He even paid the landlord additional rent, on the condition that she’d be allowed to keep her dog. But the landlord had a Calabrese cow, and threatened to “kick his Sicilian ass right into the street!”
Of course, the landlord didn’t know who he was dealing with. When he found out, he had a major change of heart, and came groveling to De Niro at his shop.
Clearly, this was a lesson in the immense powers of persuasion.
Now cut to the current day. De Niro could have addressed the millions of Tony viewers with a coherent remark.
But no. “F-Trump. F-Trump,” was the best he could come up with.
The audience—all afflicted with stage-four Trump Derangement Syndrome―loved it. But the real Don Corleone would not have approved.
In a compelling scene from the original “Godfather” film, an older Don Corleone, played by Marlon Brando, admonishes his hot-headed son Sonny for speaking out-of-turn at a meeting with a rival gangster.
“Never tell anyone outside of the family what you’re thinking,” Corleone tells Sonny.
De Niro obviously forgot this scene. Maybe he never even saw it.
With his short F-rant at the Tonys, De Niro told everyone outside of the Broadway-Hollywood family bubble exactly what he was thinking.
You know what happened after Sonny’s ill-advised rant? People died.
After these Tonys, you might also witness a death or two. It would be De Niro’s career, and the careers of a few others, that not-too-prematurely meet the Tinseltown Reaper.