Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Annie: a wonderful musical!

As a kid I saw many theater productions of Annie and always felt myself compelled by her strong-willed and beautiful-natured character. Oddly enough, I'm not sure if I had ever seen the film version up until now. Anyhow- I think the reason behind why I felt so compelled by her character can be greatly attributed to the strifes/hardships that she must face. This is reflected into the theme of the film.

Annie is such a lovable character, but due to her persistent attempts at escaping, Miss Hannigan has developed a deep hatred towards her. Miss Hannigan is the head of the orphanage. Through the daily chores and joyless lifestyle hammered into them, the theme of poverty and prosperity become very apparent. These little girls all share the dream of having a family to call their own, but in their impoverished state find themselves without much hope for this sort of thing. Additionally, the prosperity of the girls also lies within the hopes of this dream. However, later on in the film when they all decide to help save Annie, they join together forming their own sort of little family, allowing for their own sense of prosperity to be created in the confines of their worlds. 

The transition from being a part of the orphanage to being a part of the Warbuck's household clearly paints the picture of the have and the have-nots. Annie, being the beautiful-soul that she is, upon the prospects of Mr. Warbucks wanting a boy and not her, appreciates everything they have presented to her and thinks that just being able to be a part of this world even for a moment is enough. This breaks the greedy barrier of Mr. Warbucks and then he decides that Annie will do. 

Throughout the film the theme of greed is shown within all of the characters. Annie is the personification of having no greed at all. Then there is Miss Hannigan, her brother, and her brother's tricky gal, that will stop at nothing to get riches. Miss Hannigan is a lonely drunk, so she can be pitied. But as for her brother and his gal- well, they truly are just greedy yucky individuals.  Mr. Warbucks undergoes a transition from being completely greedy, rich, and unaware of human emotions to appreciating love and family. 

The musical numbers of the film all present different themes. "Hard Knock Life" showcases the strife of a failed American Dream, plus the effects of poverty on their livelihood. "Tomorrow" reflects the hope for prosperity that will surely have to come. "Maybe" reflects the arc of what Annie yearns for: a family. The song reoccurs throughout the film, starting from when she has no family, to her finally being a part of one. It presents the theme of the American Dream and prosperity. 

The film is lovely and the acting is cute and entertaining. The film does a great job at clearly relaying these themes through the acting, story, and music. If you haven't already, I would definitely suggest checking out this film! 

1 comment:

  1. CLARIFY: Although it's clear that your post is exploring the themes of the film, you don't explicitly say what those themes are very early on in the post. I can deduce, from your points, though, that the thematics you refer have to do with prosperity/prosperity and how that relates to greed and how the more important thing in life is love.

    It's kind of funny but watching it now through my adult eyes I could see that maybe Annie is more manipulative than "honest" in her confessions about how "it's okay if you send me away" and "it's okay if you don't want to take me to a movie." I think she's a pretty smart little kid, and smart little kids sometimes know exactly how to get what they want. This doesn't mean that I think she's a bad kid - I just think that maybe she's hopeful that if she puts on a "it's okay" kind of attitude it might convince good old Daddy Warbucks to do what she wants. I mean, come on, don't most little girls have their dads "wrapped around their little finger"?

    VALUE: I like how you anchor the whole post to Annie's character and show how she is driving the important theme of family and love. The post is very clearly articulated and easy to follow, even if someone hasn't seen the film. I'm glad that you brought up some specific musical numbers, and pointed out that "Maybe" comes up more than once in the film. I would have loved, actually, for you to mention that more specifically…which gets to…

    CONCERNS: It would have been great to be a little bit more in depth with your musical number examples. Actually describe, for example, what "Maybe" meant throughout. How Annie starts as singing it to herself, her own dream, but then shares it with Molly and the other girls. I believe (though I could be wrong) it comes up again with the girls in the orphanage (they sing it to themselves, or maybe it's just the music?). Then later when she her "parents" show up and she sings it, it has a completely different feeling to it. Now she is not so sure that it is what she wants - leaving Mr. Warbucks. And the song is then picked up by Warbucks himself, and in saying "maybe I'll forget" we see how emotionally attached he is about her, and know he will never forget. He has been forever changed by his experience with this pushy little girl.

    You go into great detail with many of your other points, and you kind of rush through talking about the songs. I think in talking about a musical it's important to put as much weight into exploring how the songs are functioning. Perhaps instead of waiting till the end you could have talked about one song for each of your points. Just a thought. You didn't really get into discussion the numbers as "integrated" or "spectacle." But you obviously wrote more than the minimum already required for the post! Nice work overall!