Review: The Sound of Music (1965)

5.0 / 5.0 

Sound of Music

Through the first two thirds of run time, The Sound of Music is a charming and complete love story:  however, it is the powerful third act that puts it over the top. The Von Trapp Family, led by Maria and the Captain, shows what it looks like when pride in one’s heritage and country is based not on tribalistic feelings of superiority and supremacy, but instead on a commitment to a moral and ethical truth. In presenting the duality of lighthearted music alongside dramatic suspense, rooted in unwavering moral integrity, the film strikes a consistent tone that flows seamlessly from beginning to end.

The Sound of Music is truly an artistic masterpiece that feels ahead of its time, and would surely warrant Academy consideration if it were released today.  It sports an iconic soundtrack, phenomenal performances from both leading and supporting actors, beautiful cinematography, and a brilliantly woven narrative teeming with powerful themes that are just as relevant over half a century later.

Julie Andrews as the lead character Maria is practically flawless. She fully embodies both the youthful whimsy and insightful wisdom of Maria, hitting every note in both her singing and acting. Julie presents a brilliant role model who is strong, independent, righteous, and confident, never wavering from this strength and leadership, even when the film pursues her romantic arc with Christopher Plummer’s Captain Von Trapp.

Despite the eponymous sounds of music being the driving force, the creators do not flee from the use of rests, as the film pulses with energy beyond just the score. Actors deliver poignant and nuanced performances, allowing the subtleties of facial expression and body language to convey much more than words and notes alone.  The film crackles with tension in its moments of silence, such as the cemetery chase scene. The visuals of not only the astonishing Austrian mountains, but also of the abbey and the Von Trapp manor, are phenomenal, rivaling even the best contemporary cinematography.

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