Saturday Six #24: The Sound of Music Revisited (Again)

The first time I watched The Sound of Music, it was my grandma’s copy, recorded from television onto a VHS tape. When I was 10, I was thrilled to get my own copy (also on VHS – a double boxed set!). I can’t say how many times I’ve seen it and listened to the music. Now it’s a favorite of my kids, and today, after they begged for awhile, we took the nearly three-hour plunge. With popcorn for the first half and graze-until-it’s-gone, kid-friendly charcuterie boards for the second, we camped out in the living room all evening.

I watched it many more times as a kid than I have as an adult, and it’s been years since I’ve watched it at all, so today was a different experience. Here are some of my grown-up takes on The Sound of Music, some of which are serious and some of which are very, very silly.

I’ve Grown. One of my favorite things (no pun intended?) about watching this film was comparing myself to the ages of the von Trapp children. I remember when I was Gretl’s age, and I remember when I was Maria’s age (in real life, she was 21 when she began working with the family). Now…well, now I suppose I’m up there with the Baroness, which is…unsettling.

Bad Math. Shout-out to my daughter for noticing this one. The youngest two von Trapp children are five and almost seven, yet dialog reveals that Captain von Trapp’s wife passed seven years earlier. Head-scratching ensues.

Tick Check. I am a concerned parent who has pulled ticks off her children. So on that day trip up to the mountains when they learn how to sing, all I could think was that Maria better do a full-body tick-check on every one of those kids when they get home. Some of that grass was TALL. *shudder*

The Eyes Have It. There is SO MUCH eye-rolling in this movie, and most of it is Christopher Plummer. And you know what? He’s REALLY good at it.

Speaking of the Captain. Perhaps it’s due to the number of rom-coms I’ve read recently, but I never noticed before how brooding Captain von Trapp is, or how attractive it is! He really nailed mysterious, dark, and handsome for this role, plus his playful flirtation when Maria comes back? Nearly scandalous!

World War II. All right, now I need to get serious. Obviously, I had no clue what Nazis were in 1987, but I gained knowledge over the years about World War II and the years leading up to it, though admittedly mostly from the U.S. perspective.  However, since I last watched this movie, I’ve learned a lot more about the European experience, which really struck a nerve tonight. Captain von Trapp is so distraught about the loss of Austria to the Third Reich, he is unable to sing, “Eidelweiss,” at the end, but then I realized he doesn’t even have an inkling of how horrific it’s actually going to be. It’s one happy story amongst millions of tragic ones, but he was able to escape with his family…and his life. If only more had been able to do the same.

No matter how many times we see a movie, or read a book, each time we’re a little different ourselves, always allowing us to see art with new eyes. Simply watching an old favorite with my kids gives me a fresh perspective. Tonight was little bit of both.

P.S. They destroyed the charcuterie boards.

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