Wednesday, 8 September 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 358

8 - Singin' In The Rain - 3 stars
To gear up for the top rated musical on the list with this little video on /Film that looks at the history of dance in the movies, all set to some classic Kenny Loggins.
Another film that I had never seen before. The only thing I had seen was the hilarious Morecambe & Wise spoof from years ago but always guaranteed to bring a smile to my face.
There has been a lot of talk recently about meta films or movies about movies, and Singin' In The Rain is one of the original and best.
It revolves around a group of silent movie actors who feel threatened by the invention of the "talkies" aka talking pictures (in particular the wonderful Jean Hagen who has the looks but not the voice to succeed), but find a Hollywood reprieve through the medium of song and dance.
Whilst he may have been a tyrant and a perfectionist on set, there is no denying Gene Kelly is one of the greatest dancers who ever graced the silver screen. His technique and charisma leap off the screen and delivers one great dance number after another including the infamous title sequence (apparently done all in one take).
And here is where my problem lies with Singin' In The Rain and other musicals of this type like On The Town. A lot of these films features lots of song and dance numbers that are simply there to serve as a showcase for the performer's talent, a case of "hey everyone, come and see how good I look", with the songs and dances sometimes having very little to do with the plot.
Now there may be people out there who enjoy this type of film purely from an entertainment of the spectacle point of view, but I personally feel (and this comes from having written a couple of musicals for Student Show) is that everything in the script should have a purpose and with musicals that means that the songs should further the plot and enhance the story... and some of the songs in this film (like Good Morning) do not do this.

Days remaining - 7 Films remaining - 7

No comments:

Post a Comment