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Blind Spot: The Sound of Music

Two things have happened since I've watched The Sound of Music. First, is that the songs have been heavily playing over and over again in my mind. Second, is that I have been humming them for those days. The Sound of Music has been one of those 'must-see' films for ages; the songs have been heavily referenced that it sometimes borders on irksome (especially when not in a chipper mood). The city of Salzburg still holds a torch for the film, including tidbits of the shooting location when giving tours (or at least the one I was in). Despite watching this at a later age and knowing most of the songs, I don't really know much about the plot of the film. The experience of watching a classic was still intact; I think it's safe to say that it's a timeless piece.

Maria was a nun-to-be who was a bit of a black sheep; she displays behavior that the fellow nuns disapprove of. She was then sent by the Reverend Mother to the home of Captain von Trapp to work as a governess and to figure out if being a nun was really meant for her. She gets to encounter von Trapp's children, who at first used to trick her, but have grown fond of her as displayed through Maria bringing song and laughter and happiness back into the house. Von Trapp grows fond of her as well, setting off a development between Maria and the Captain. This all happens during the verge of war, where Germany was gaining power and was to overtake Austria. 

The film was based on a musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by the memoir of Maria von Trapp that chronicles the family's life and survival after fleeing Austria. It is heavily fictionalized, but the film was wonderful. The cinematography and color made everything look aesthetically pleasing. The framing also manages to capture the intimate moments between Captain and Maria, with both actors having chemistry onscreen. The songs have an influence to the overall tone of the film, and despite the mostly-positive tune, the shift of tone still manages to be dramatic and effective. I'd never thought I'd experience anxiety while watching a (what I then assumed to be a purely) happy film. 

Julie Andrews was amazing as Maria; her expressions, her activeness, and her charm really hit well with the film. It's hard to imagine another actress in her shoes. Andrews made it easy to sympathize with her character, and to cheer her on as she got to develop her relationship with the children and Captain von Trapp. Christopher Plummer was also good in his role, though it was really Andrews who stood out. 

What I don't understand exactly is how Liezl (the eldest child) had a bit part for herself, engaging in a romantic relationship with Rolfe, a telegram boy who was a Hitler fanatic. I felt that the relationship was underdeveloped and was only used as a filler or a development point between Liezl and Maria. Though by the looks of the film, the scene wasn't necessarily needed as the writers have found another way for Maria to win over the children. That bit of the story seem to have stuck out like a sore thumb, but doesn't derail the overall effect of the film. 

The film has aged well; it has become a wonderful addition to must-watch lists and is even preserved. To keep the same emotions and thoughts it had on its first release and to keep it intact through decades is a feat. It's an enjoyable film that is accessible to people of all ages, and I think I would have felt the same if I've seen it when I was younger, or have viewed it on a later age. 


Final Word: It's a tremendously wonderful film. 

Cast: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
Director: Robert Wise
Year: 1965

Comments

  1. I'm so glad you chose this film for your Blind Spot, it's so easy to overlook musicals and The Sound of Music is really is a classic. I know what you mean about the telegram boy and Liezl - it's a tad odd. The only thing I can think of is that they wanted to include more of him in the first part of the film in order to include him later because they wanted a more emotional connection to the young men that were 'persuaded' to john the Nazis and that was their answer.
    I saw a photo of the cast recently for some kind of reunion and boy - Gretl has had some work done.

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  2. I'm glad you liked it. I had to do a musical based on the film in grade school, we watched it several times and sang the songs for months. It made me kind of hate it. I get flash rage thinking about the "I am sixteen going on seventeen" song. lol

    I'm very much in the minority of this one though. Everyone else I know loves it.

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  3. I remember when it had its television premiere back in the 70's. This is, of course, before video or even a remote control. I was enraptured since I had already been to Salzburg and loved seeing the city. I went right out and bought the album which I still have. One of my favourite scenes is when Maria dances with the Captain and I tried to mimic that dance. Actually, my mom won a dance contest doing a similar dance style which was a folk dance. I did giggle when he mentioned they will go over the mountains because I knew they were headed for Germany:)

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