copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

Did you know Sound of Music is partly about Austrian nationalism against Nazis? How about that it is based on a real family? Besides the quality of cinematography and acting, there are two things that set this musical apart from other films: one is its iconic catchy songs and two is its surprising depth.

As for the songs, you may find yourself humming just moments after they are finished, before the movie is even over. They do not overpower your brain but there are definitely some musical hooks involved in the melodies. The songs are quite different from one another, in style and rhythm. Perhaps one weakness is that all the songs are happy songs and the movie struggles adapting its happy music to the more serious moments in the film.

The movie does this trick where the characters sing the same song twice (at least) but the second time they sing it in a different situation, modifying the meaning of the song or adding more meaning. While the effect of this is quite good, the change is only a minor one in the meaning and not the mood, because most of the songs are too happy to make any change to the mood made. And even to change the meaning, the creators end up needing to modify the song. Only one song, Edelweiss, ends up sounding completely different when played the second time and without any modification to it.

As for the depth of the film, it is felt in a number of spots: in the slowly emerging nationalistic sub-story, in the psychological situation of the main male character, in the subtle humour and children's commentary.

If you have only seen little bits of this movie and its title you can be forgiven for thinking that it is just a sappy love story in a form of a musical, and for the first half of the film it is kind of heading that way, but it turns out to be much more than that.

……I don't like musicals, and I did not expect to like this old film. However I cannot deny the greatness and quality of the Sound of Music. This movie took me for a ride.

The Sound of Music