The Sound of Music Review

The Sound of Music is nothing short of a masterpiece. Set in Austria, 1938, this musical drama depicts undiscussed struggles that children and families face, as well as the importance of love and security. 

The movie begins with Maria (Julie Andrews) leaving her quiet life at a convent to experience the world by becoming a nanny for a wealthy Austrian family of seven children. She teaches the children how to sing and they spend every day exploring while learning about musical expression, much to their father’s (Christopher Plumber) disapproval.

Maria is determined, optimistic, unafraid to challenge order, and constantly seeking adventure. Her generosity is expertly demonstrated when she stays up all night creating new clothes for the children out of an excessively large curtain, even though she herself has only one dress.

The Sound of Music does an incredible job of showcasing the phenomenal greenery of Austria’s vast hillsides, which seems too whimsical to be real. Its most notable impact of cinematography is the dedication to symmetry all throughout the film. The von Trapp mansion where the children and their father, Georg, live is orderly inside and out. Its rows of square windows and the two matching staircases inverted in the entirely plain foyer serve as symmetric backgrounds for many scenes.

These details, mixed with how Georg treats his seven children as if he were raising troops, represents how he craves control after the unexpected loss of his wife a few years prior. He appears to be a harsh father when in reality he is simply terrified of letting his children out into a chaotic and unpredictable world. 

A scene that perfectly demonstrates director Robert Wise’s use of symmetry involves Maria. The back of the mansion leads out to a lake that can be accessed via a short metal gate. Seahorse statues mirror one another on either side; balance. Georg watches from his balcony as Maria walks in a zigzag line towards the gate instead of walking parallel to the path. She pauses on the right side to stare out at the lake, as if waiting for him to join her on the left. The picture looks incomplete without him there to balance it out. This scene is simply beautiful. What’s more, the shadows caused by the moonlight have a captivating effect.

Charmian Carr embodies the character of Liesl, the eldest daughter, with poise. She illustrates the importance of a girl’s relationship with her mother while also demonstrating the pressure girls feel to fall in love at such a young age in order for their lives to have meaning, as seen in the iconic song Sixteen Going on Seventeen

Overall, The Sound of Music is a unique movie that was wonderfully directed and casted. It was filmed in 1965 and has managed to age very well. I would definitely recommend this classic to people of all ages, there is a song for everyone.

5/5 stars, no hesitation.