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.
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