Singin' in the Rain

Singin' in the Rain ★★★★★

Dignity. Always dignity.

I had this rated at four stars for awhile, then for some reason, dropped it down to three and a half stars. In either case, rating this thing so low, I was being what one calls "idiotic." Earlier this week I was listening to a podcast that had the great John Landis on it, where he discussed mainly musicals, this being one he highlighted especially. When asked what kind of movies he likes, Landis said that he likes movies of every possible genre, stating something along the lines of "If there's a genre you say you dislike, you just haven't seen a good example of that genre yet." Case in point, Singin' in the Rain feels like the apex of the potential for musicals and comedy. The style of the film I wouldn't describe as "flashy" so much as "fluid." The capacity for movement and vocal potential is so clear in actors like Kelly, O'Connor, and Reynolds that what you need to do is just keep up with them. (I had remembered the particular moment from my initial viewing of this film, but even now, when I saw O'Connor run up that plank of wood and do that backflip, my jaw dropped.) The music is perfect, so catchy, so lively, and I was often surprised by how incredible the comedy is in this. So many memorable lines, unforgettable facial expressions, and general moments of pure sensory bliss. In that way, I thought this was a great love letter to both the silent and early sound eras of film. Through its stellar costumes and earworm songs, it exemplifies the possibility of auditory paired with visionary. In the aforementioned moments of intense facial expressions and a complete portrayal of the possibilities with the human body to run, jump, and whatever else, the power of the image reigns supreme. I had gotten the bug to revisit this almost out of the blue, and I thought I would like it a lot more than I did before, but I do not think I was prepared to just adore it as much as I did. Something that's not quite a perfect movie, some stuff I could pick at, but it's so close to perfection, you might as well call it that.


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