Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Fiddler on the Roof- 1971- A Movie Musical Directed by Norman Jewison - Winner of Three Academy Awards

Fiddler on the Roof- 1971- A Movie Musical Directed by Norman Jewison - Winner of Three Academy Awards
Based on the Broadway musical of the same name, the film takes us to the fictional Russian village of Anatevka in the early 20th century. We meet Tevye (played by the incredible Topol), a poor but hardworking milkman grappling with tradition and change as he tries to marry off his five daughters. As societal pressures and anti-Semitism rise, Tevye must navigate his unwavering faith and evolving family dynamics.

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning three Academy Awards (Best Score, Best Adapted Song, and Best Cinematography) and being nominated for five others, including Best Picture. It is widely considered one of the greatest musicals ever made and has been praised for its heartwarming story, memorable songs, and strong performances

Tevye's struggles come to a head when his eldest daughter, Tzeitel, falls in love with a poor tailor named Motel. Tevye does not approve of Motel, but he eventually gives his blessing to the marriage. However, the wedding is interrupted by a group of Russian soldiers, who are persecuting the Jews. Tevye and his family are forced to flee Anatevka, and they eventually emigrate to America

Here's a breakdown of some of the most popular songs and what they represent:

"Tradition": The opening number, sung by Tevye and the villagers, establishes the importance of tradition and faith in their small Jewish community.

"Matchmaker, Matchmaker": The three eldest daughters, Tzeitel, Hodel, and Chava, express their anxieties and desires about finding husbands through a matchmaker.

"If I Were a Rich Man": Tevye humorously daydreams about the problems he would solve if he were wealthy, highlighting his internal struggles between tradition and personal desires.

"Sabbath Prayer": A beautiful and moving song sung by Tevye, Golde, and the villagers, expressing their gratitude and devotion to their faith.

"To Life": A celebratory song sung by Tevye, Lazar Wolf, and the men, expressing joy and resilience in the face of challenges.

"Tevye's Dream": A comedic dream sequence where Tevye confronts his deceased ancestors and the Rabbi about his daughters' marriages.

"Sunrise, Sunset": A poignant duet by Tevye and Golde reflecting on the passage of time and the changing world around them.

From Act II:

"Now I Have Everything": A hopeful song by Perchik and Hodel expressing their love and optimism for their future together.

"Tevye's Rebuttal": Tevye argues against his daughters' choices in husbands, showcasing his traditional values clashing with their modern desires.

"Do You Love Me?": A tender and emotional duet by Tevye and Golde reaffirming their love and commitment to each other.

"Chavaleh (Little Bird)": Tevye sings to his youngest daughter, Chava, expressing his love and worry about her choice to run away with Fyedka.

"Anatevka": The final song, sung by the villagers as they are forced to leave their home due to the Tsar's decree, expressing their love for their community and hope for the future.


Buried In Print said...

I first watched this when I was a teenager: a real classic!
Great idea to write about each song in particular.

Mel u said...

Buried in Print- I first watched it at least 25 years ago.