Tuesday, 27 May 2008

That Old Weepy....

Yesterday afternoon we sobbed our way through The Sound of Music for the umpteenth time. That’s both of us. Himself is just as soppy as I am when it comes to this film.

But having seen it so many times, I only recently started thinking what it was all about. Climbing your mountain until you find your dream. Climbing that mountain for as long as it takes. And when things are really lousy, you have to remember, as she did, that, “when He closes a door he opens a window”. Something I must remember, as a writer, when I go through a really lousy stage.

With every film there has to be Good and Evil, and in this instance the Catholic Church is portrayed as a very powerful good force – remember the wedding scene, and the way she walks up the vast aisle? Then the camera pans to the bishop, up and up throughout the church, up to the mountains. God is very much in those mountains at the beginning, running around with Maria (or vice versa). And of course later the mountains are her way of escape, with her new family.

The Nazis are the evil force. As Gretel, the youngest girl so aptly says, “the man with the black spider makes everyone nervous.” You bet he does.

And of course, put a bunch of nuns against a bunch of Nazis and we all know who wins. The nuns prove they’re good at car maintenance as well as praying.

I suppose most of us can identify with the characters – Maria is brave, honest, funny, true and not afraid to stand up for herself, or for what she believes. Captain Von Trapp admires her courage, her honesty and her love for his children that shows him how to love them as well as her.

What is most important to the Captain is his patriotism. (His children at first come second, but they resume their rightful importance later.) It is his love of Austria that runs through the film, and his realisation that Austria is no longer what it was, despite the Germans insisting that, “We will show to the world that Austria is the same”.

And I love the Captain for that. For his refusal to compromise, to give in. As Maria says, “I can’t ask him to be less of a man than he is.”

At the end we blew our noses and had a cuddle. “I don’t know why it’s so emotional,” Himself said, wiping his eyes. “I suppose because Austria had gone and I can identify with that. We’ve lost something too – Britain isn’t what it was.”

Driving through town this morning to walk Mollie, I looked at the American shake bar, the Italian restaurant, the Italian olive shop, the tapas bar and so on. And I realised he’s right.

18 comments:

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I love that film too. Yes, we are living in a country that is slowly losing its right to being Great.

CJ xx

Katherine and Pippa said...

Is it getting older that makes us so reluctant to accept change?

I don't mind the wide choice of places to eat (never did like old British caffs with strong tea, instant coffee and mediocre to poor food) - I think the way society is changing is far more depressing. And that's the real analogy with S of Music.

Kate

Katherine and Pippa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flowerpot said...

Crystal - it's sad, isn't it?

K & P - I agree. And I think that's what HImself meant.

Rebecca Taunton said...

I haven't seen that movie for years, but I can see why you enjoy it so much.

Sometimes change is good, sometimes it can be bad. Mind you, we're both tempted to try a milkshake from the new milkshake bar!

Flowerpot said...

RT - oh I love it (SOM I mean!). Change can be a good thing but what I meant was losing any sense of being British - adn being proud of it.

Akelamalu said...

We're not allowed to be British and proud of it anymore :(

Flowerpot said...

Ak - no it's sad isn't it? Society is becoming multicultural nowadays.

TOM FOOLERY said...

Good post Flowerpot.I spent today in London and virtually everything seemed well foreign. Not sure if this is the England that I once loved, but I guess we cannot turn back time.TFX

Flowerpot said...

TF - no things are definitely changing and I agree with your sentiments.

Rebecca Taunton said...

FP - I know what you mean about losing the sense of Britishness. We're fast turning into a global society. It's the other changes, as Kate mentioned above, that's the problem (the violence, the gangs etc).

Emma Jayne said...

so beautifully written :)

Flowerpot said...

RT - yes and you're turning into rather an expert on that side of things I'm afraid. Take care and I hope you're sleeping!

Emma Jayne - good to meet you and thank you for that. Please call back!

Lane said...

So many changes and not all of them good:-(

Just had a catch up of your posts. Glad Himself found his crown!

Julia Smith said...

It's funny about the 'Climb Every Mountain' song. When I was little, of course I understood what the nun was singing about, but I didn't have the life experience that now reduces me to tears if I try to sing that song.

Flowerpot said...

Lane - yes that was a relief!

Julia - yes it reduces me to tears - mind you that woman had an incredible voice too....

Philipa said...

The book 'The Abolition ofBritain'is going to be reprinted soon,Irecommend it,though I don'tagree with everything in it, it certainly is not a boring read.

wordtryst said...

I never, ever get tired of that film.

As for things changing: as they say, it's the only constant. And at the risk of getting political here, I'm always mystified that countries (like the UK) can expect to impose dramatic change on myriad places, disrupt/destroy entire cultures around the globe, and yet expect to remain unchanged themselves.