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29 July 2011

The Sound of Music (1965) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 13#

Directed by: Robert Wise
Genre: Musical, Drama, Family
Runtime: 174 Minutes
There is a reason that some films live on through the years and remain resonate and enjoyable. Does sound of music live up to that? Yes, it does, even after 45 years. The Sound of Music is no doubt one of the greatest musicals there is because of it’s terrific acting, great emotion and most of all, the beautiful songs and imagery. As a family musical film that spans almost to three hours, it manages to still compel and win over the audience. Many critics have come to saying the film is no longer a classic, but I stick by saying the film is a classic musical film that is still impressive, at least a little.

Julie Andrews stars as Maria, a young nun in an Austrian convent who regularly misses her morning prayers because she enjoys going to the hills to sing the title song. Deciding that Maria needs to learn something about the real world before she can take her vows, the Mother Superior sends her off to be governess for the children of the widowed Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer). Arriving at the Trapp home, Maria discovers that her new boss is cold and aloof, and his seven children virtual automatons-at least, whenever the Captain is around. Otherwise, the kids are holy terrors, as evidenced by the fact that Maria is the latest in a long line of governesses. However, Maria soon ingratiates herself with the children, especially oldest daughter Liesl (Charmian Carr), who is in love with teenaged messenger boy Rolf. From here on it’s a beautiful story that grabs your heart as well as having you sing along.

Julie Andrews was a true star in the film as was all seven of the Von Trapp children. Then of course, we cannot forget Christopher Plummer as the captain whose performance was wholly and true. However, it was Andrews as our main character Maria who truly astounds you and was truly marvellous. Being a 3-hour musical, there is many songs and the soundtrack has 27 songs spanning to 89 Minutes. Most of the songs have beautiful warmth that can only be found in classics an only if you can sit back and enjoy the beauty of things can you enjoy the film.  Some critics, fans and general people today just cannot bear the thought of musicals calling it either lazy storytelling or just plain stupidly happy. I loved the songs in this film because they were emotionally sincere, cheerful and quite catchy. The thing with musicals is that people break into song to express things that words cannot, and that is the simplest way to put it. Some films fail inn this, but this one does not.

Today beside the mixed criticism, the film is still running through Broadway, West end and still touring the world, making it the most popular of all musicals. And according to inflation it is a third highest inflation-adjusted grossing film of all time which in 2010 currency it grossed $1 billion plus. As much as I am honouring this film much it is not my favourite musicals of time, but it is far up there. It’s dated charm, colourful quality and graceful music remains resonant, and as a whole the film is unique. I forgot to mention there is Nazi’s in the film. Towards the end we see the Nazis rising, and for a family film it will be the moment the parent will have to explain to the child what is bad about this particular group of people. The Captain refuses to work for the Nazis (too right!) so they try to flee Austria.

This adaption of the 1959 Broadway musical from Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein warm, enchanting, wholly and very sincere let alone it’s wonderful songs that seem dated, but are still quite beautiful. Not many people bring this film to their attention now with it’s dated feel-good feeling but it’s still a wonderful film. It is most certainly happy for sure and I think that is the film’s nice buzz. It is a beautifully filmed and graciously crafted film. Seeing that first opening helicopter shot (which I might add is quite impressive, no CGI remember) was a beautiful intro and the film’s colour palette was warm and bright. Julie Andrews was a star and the story as a whole has a great warmth that only a classic could create.

My Rating: 9/10
 

2 comments:

  1. Classic songs. It used to run on TV every year when I was a kid.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I TRYED THE SOUND OF MUSIC AND I WENT ON THE FIRST ROUND

    BY SOPHIE KIRK

    ReplyDelete

 

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