Singin' in the Rain

Singin' in the Rain ★★★★

Having completed my Educational January project (that isn't true; I still have to watch Shoah), I decided to start my next project with some fun thus, I turned on 1952's Singin' in the Rain and went to town.

Set in 1927, we follow a group of Hollywood stars as they transition from silent films to talkies. Covering some real events such as the release of The Jazz Singer, Singin' in the Rain turned out to be a musical delight that I loved. Filled with entertaining dance sequences and songs and featuring a light-hearted mood, this is a film that can lift up almost anyone's spirits. It sure did lift up mine as I was left with a big grin for a large portion of this wonderful film.

Admittedly, I did have quite a few problems with the movie; the main two being lots of outdated scenes, which really bothered me a lot, and how they handled the characters of Kathy and Lina. Though, I can slightly forgive the portrayal of Lina as a dimwit because it leads to so many hilarious scenes, some of which actually made me laugh, my forgiveness can only go so far and I really had a big problem with how Jean Hagen's character was written. As for Kathy, she's a great character played magnificently by Debbie Reynolds. I guess I just found her to be a bit too simplistic. That's probably the most prominent problem, other than Lina's character, and it's the romance being sort of weak for me. The chemistry between Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds was great and they both played their characters brilliantly but I suppose I expected more from the romance aspect but instead, it ended up feeling like some sort of a generic subplot. Maybe I'm being dumb as usual and it was a subplot. There were also some certain scenes which bugged me but discussing them would enter spoiler territory.

As usual, I had my fair share of problems with a film and there were definitely quite a few with this one yet Singin' in the Rain is an iconic classic for a reason. Whether it be for the impeccable musical numbers, the breathtaking technicolour cinematography, or the great comedic gags, you can go on and on about why Singin' in the Rain is amazing and so beloved and I, for one, certainly agree with the majority of people who love it.

One thing which stood out to me was that musical sequence with Cosmo. I think Siegel explained it best in his review for this film and that's the thing, we all may just be looking into it too deeply but when you actually sit there and think about it, Singin' in the Rain is honestly quite a deep and sometimes heartbreaking film. It shows us the harsh realities of Hollywood and while there's obviously lots of glamour, there's also a depressing nature related to it. Of course, we all know this today but for a film in 1952, that was very smart and progressive of them. As many have pointed out, this would also make a great double feature with La La Land.

I don't think Singin' in the Rain is perfect but for what it is, this is a wonderful, joyful, and from time to time, saddening film. The dance numbers went on for a bit too long for my taste yet I still enjoyed watching everyone dancing so who cares. Great start to this new project!

Romantic February 2021
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