“So I say,
Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing,
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing,
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty … “
Yes, what would life be, without a song or a dance or a tune to hum along. So that was probably what the producers were thinking when they wrapped a simple, yet endearing story, around a bunch of all-time favourite hit-songs, which guaranteed that even the most dour miser would start tapping his feet when the music starts playing, and throw in a group of well-known veteran actors, and wa lah .. a box office hit; or of course you could just follow the lead of the producers of Mamma Mia! and adapt the stage musical onto the silver screen. I must admit though that it was a riot listening to song after songs of ABBA’s greatest hits, while enjoying the uninhibited performance of Meryl and gang.
Musical films are kind of a rarity nowadays, though they are making a comeback with one or two rare gems in the past few years. We have had stage-to-film musicals like Chicago, Rent, Phantom of the Opera, and others like Dreamgirls and The Producers. I guessed it is not easy to produce one without a group of talented singing cast and great songs.
Disney also had rebuild their cartoon dynasty in the 90s with successful cartoon musicals like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, though they have kind of cooled off with the musical theme.
However despite all these wonderful movie musicals, the torch bearer for musicals will still be the classic evergreens of the past such as The Sound of Music, Singin’ in the Rain, My Fair Lady,West Side Story, etc. They are the ones that come to mind when the word ‘musical film’ is mentioned .. and the ones that we had repeatedly watched on video (pre-recorded version), in the familiar drab colour film quality that old movies are known for. I bet most of us will instantly recognise the Austrian hill scenery that was made famous by the Sound of Music.
Anyway, be it old or new, we should be thankful that we still have some song and dance in our lives. If not, it is time you find some …
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me”