After months of moaning and groaning, I finally sent off the Netflix movies we had, and today Sound of Music came in the mail. So Annie and I started watching it, with a plate of too-expensive cheeses and bread. (Chapel Hill Creamery, for the record, makes an excellent Asiago.)
A number of things I noted:
1) The Rogers and Hammerstein Maria is actually kind of sarcastic. This shouldn’t be surprising, since the real Maria Von Trapp was, well, a bitch. Apparently she made the lives of her stepchildren miserable. She was a controlling woman. Yes, she could strum a guitar, but that’s about it.
2) I didn’t remember that Liesl’s dress (you remember her, 16 going on 17) has these strange rolls at the waist. Looks like she’s been a little heavy-handed with the strudel.
3) The Baroness seems like a pretty stand-up gal. No, she’s not hyperactive like Maria, but she’s really okay. Good steady mother material. What’s the big deal??
4) I’d never noticed before what a jerk the Captain is. He’s a bona fide loser. He’s outlawed singing in his shipshape household and calls the children with personalized whistles. The first time we see him is when the irrepressible Maria is dancing with an imaginary partner in the ballroom; he throws open the door and cuts short the merriment. (I’m drawing a few parallels here with which I won’t burden the datasphere.) When he enters the room, party’s over. It’s totally depressing.
I’d like to explore the whistle motif a bit more. I understand Georg is a retired sea captain (in real life, it was something of a tragedy how he lost his good reputation). But the whistles! He wants to give Maria her own personal whistle. She says no, emphatically. She says whistles are for dogs, not women and children. It reminds me of Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, which was a huge catalyst for the first Women’s Movement, circa 1900. The book, which I love dearly, is an anthropomorphic account of the trials of a horse. The clear parallels between the treatment of animals and the treatment of women were ultra incendiary in 1877 when it came out. This is powerful stuff here . I’m getting a little overwrought.
Intermission: I’ve changed my mind. I am so clearly Maria. Also the Baroness. Ashley is Georg. I am very, very distressed. More later when I’m feeling better.