Watching 'Sound of Music' with my daughter and letting my thoughts flow unfettered.....
The story of Robert Wise's classic film “The Sound of Music”.......
Love conquers all. A woman’s love for music, children and Nature bring everlasting dramatic changes in an Austrian family during the days of Nazi rule.
Maria plans to be a nun but isn’t cut out for it. Reverend Mother of Salzburg Abbey in Austria sends her to be the governess of the seven motherless children of Captain Von Trapp, a retired Naval Officer. Their hostility towards governesses is no match for Maria’s kind heart that helps her realize that they are growing up in a loveless stifling environment of discipline enforced by their father.
When the Captain is away from home, Maria’s love for the hills and trees takes her and the children to the lap of Nature. There she gives them the first lessons of music and the long-forgotten taste of freedom from a strict routine by picnicking on lush green meadows, running with rivers, climbing on trees and rowing boat in a placid lake, and wins over seven hearts effortlessly.
Straightforward that she is, during an argument with the Captain, Maria tells him to bridge the growing gap between him and his children through love again. The haughty and authoritarian Captain talks tough with her only to be overwhelmed by a song his children, tutored by Maria, sing to the baroness. Overnight he mellows down to an affectionate father.
With time, Maria and Captain get drawn towards each other but the baroness plays spoilsport. Stung by her words Maria returns to the Abbey, confused by her own feelings towards Captain. Meanwhile the baroness gets engaged to Captain.
Shocked that Maria has left for good, the children, in desperation, try to meet her in vain. Reverend Mother, with the wisdom of her silver years, advises Maria never to run away from problems, rather face them, by returning to Captain’s house.
Almost instinctively, Captain calls off his engagement to the baroness. The moment it dawns on him that he is in love with Maria, he hesitatingly approaches her in his sprawling garden where two hearts unite at last!
With the Nazis capturing Captain’s dear homeland, a sudden call of duty far away from home threatens to separate him from his family but music again comes to their rescue! During their performance at a concert, they cleverly leave the place to seek refuge in the Abbey from where they finally escape to Switzerland, to freedom!
What I love about the evergreen film “The Sound of Music”......
A musical, it is a breath of fresh air, soothing nerves and souls. Music here holds the characters and events, bonding seven children, their governess and their father effortlessly with the passage of time. The charm of the story lies in the different struggles of the different people who are all striving to overcome obstacles in the path towards happiness – the story of millions of us. The children try to come close to their father, Captain tries to forget memories of his dear, dead wife and Maria tries hard to be a nun. Without the silent struggle, the journey of each of them would lose its song.
"Sound of Music" is etched in my mind for its eternal truth – life is all about what choices we make. Maria chooses to bond with the children in the face of hostility. Dictatorial Captain chooses to metamorphose into an affectionate father and later again chooses to break his engagement to marry Maria who brings sunshine in his life.
The film deftly shows what optimism can do. Maria’s initial hesitation evident during her first trip to Captain’s house as she asks herself “Why am I so scared?” is swiftly replaced with a confidence growing from her great attitude. She is an embodiment of courage and an infectious optimism as she returns to Captain’s house to find out if she is destined to share his future and later when she gently urges Lisl, Captain’s teenager daughter, to move on with life after her first heartbreak.
“Sound of Music” magnetizes me with ethereally beautiful scenes of Austria’s natural beauty of hills crowned with trees sheltering chirping birds, lakes interspersing green meadows and brooks tripping over stones.
The director gives every character a fair share of screen presence (wise Reverend Mother, scheming baroness, suave Max and so on) and gives us a balanced mix of humour, love, joy, suspense and happiness, laced with feelings of patriotism and finally peace as significant events of world history – rise of Hitler and the Nazi rule – unfold, forming the backdrop.
I love the unique way two different kinds of love – blossoming passionate teenage love and a calm, matured love that later culminates in marriage – happen in the same garden, both in silvery night, at two different points of time.
The film’s many evergreen songs carry beautiful messages. “Climb every mountain” encourages one to cross obstacles to hunt for one’s dream and live it. As Maria sings “nothing comes from nothing”, I realize that beautiful moments take birth in noble actions of the past. And to overcome sadness I can hum about “a few of my favourite things”!
"Sound of Music" is life’s lessons packaged with profound truths - “walls are not built to shut out problems” and one has to face them, “you have to live the life you were born to live” and good times follow difficult times just as “the sun comes out” after the night.
One single film has so much to offer!