It might be hard to believe, but the evergreen (and admittedly cheesy) film The Sound of Music is based on a true story. The film was adapted from Maria Von Trapp’s memoir titled The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. After five and a half decades, most films end up looking familiar, but only a few exude the sheer joy of this Robert Wise director. Despite the time and setting of the movie, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer’s film exudes a timeless and charming vibe, so much so that even years later, it’s hard not to be enchanted by their theatrics.
Ah and the songs! Charming and limitless and folk too (think Edelweiss). But we are ahead of ourselves. First of all, to the plot. The story is set in Austria and centers on an 18-year-old tomboy, impulsive and enthusiastic. Although many tried to tame her at Nonnberg Abbey, Maria couldn’t be contained – always full of ideas and music. To make her a responsible adult, she is sent to be the governess of seven children of a retired naval officer called Captain Georg Von Trapp (a good-natured Christopher Plummer). However, Maria’s unorthodox mannerisms soon grab the captain’s attention. And the rest of the plot starts from there.
Predictable for the T, The Sound of Music compensates with its contagious energy for what it lacks in the field of novelties. The story comes to life (pun intended) by a well-composed cast of actors, including child actors who play their roles convincingly. But unsurprisingly, it’s the prodigious lead actors of Plummer and Andrews who anchor this all-too-familiar story. The notions of independence and in-depth exploration of family relationships are to be admired. And when these subjects are presented on screen with the vivacity of Julie Andrews, the ride becomes all the more entertaining. Most beautiful in the simplest clothes, Julie shines like young Maria, who can’t help but spread a little joy and curiosity wherever she goes.
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Not only well done, The Sound of Music is also a well shot movie. Take, for example, its opening sequence – that wide opening shot of Maria running through the greens of a meadow, surrounded by icy blue mountains on either side. Playing and rotating in the very center, the camera then zooms in on Julie, who takes her viewers with her on a short trip to the picturesque places of Salzburg. This now iconic photo of Andrews arms outstretched, as if embracing nature, was taken using a large helicopter.
“This opening shot is truly the poster photo par excellence. We had a terrible time shooting this scene. This shot was filmed with me walking across the field on one side and a helicopter descending from the tree on the other side. There was a cameraman hanging from the side of the helicopter to film me. But every time the helicopter left for its base (the scene was redone several times), I was completely flattened on the ground because of its downdraft, ”Andrews said on a previous recording for the American Film. Institute. And thanks to her willingness to be pushed to the ground like that over and over again, we now have a great cinematic moment reserved for the ages. I guess it’s called “for the love of art”.
You can watch The Sound of Music on Google Play.