Monday, December 19, 2016

The Sound of Metaphor

Last night, we watched The Sound of Music on TV.  Like most Americans, I've seen this musical a hundred times.  It was the first movie my parents took us to.  I must have been 5 or 6, but I remember sitting in The Palace Theater on Main Street and watching this movie, and being so taken by it that my parents bought me the soundtrack album.  The cover folded out with colored pictures and a complete write-up of the show.  My boyhood crush on Julie Andrews was in full-swing.

Watching the movie last night, I couldn't help but be struck by the fact that the characters are a metaphor for our times. So who are YOU in this movie? 
Are you Maria who sets out to accomplish an impossible task and succeeds despite experiencing some failure? 
Are you Captain Von Trapp who stands up for his convictions no matter the consequences? 
Are you the nuns who sacrifice their safety for what is right? 
Are you Baroness Elsa Schraeder who initially fights for what she wants but eventually, and somewhat easily, concedes defeat and accepts the status quo?
Are you Leisl who wants more from life and is struggling to move forward despite being restricted and caught between dueling sides? 
Are you Rolf, easily swayed and intoxicated by power from a leader who offers empty promises but taps into your need for self-importance?  And who is gullible enough to join a militant faction while telling his near-age mate that she's being naive? 
Are you the Von Trapp children who are disinterested with social conformity? 
Are you Hans Zeller loyal to the party no matter what ugly turn it takes?
Movies, specifically musicals, are meant to transport us someplace else, to temporarily forget our problems and live in a world of magic, dancing, singing, and love.  But I couldn't help but feel that at least this time, The Sound of Music was too eerily current.

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