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BLOGGED ESSAY: NUR NAFIS BIN MOH’D NAIM

Singin’ in the Rain is an exceptionally well crafted musical film. Like any other musical film, Singin’ in the Rain has great songs that play an important role in narrating the story of the movie. In unveiling the transition of Don Lockwood’s behavior for example, there were at least three songs to look into. In the early parts of the film, Don’s life revolved very much around lies, deceits, and dishonesty. In the other end of the film however, he became more sincere with himself and everyone else. Without these songs, the transition would never be greatly depicted to the audience. The songs mentioned are ‘Fit as a Fiddle (and ready for love), ‘You Were Meant for Me’, and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’.

During the premiere, when asked by the broadcaster Dora about his life, Don said that the most important word in his life was ‘dignity’. While he reminisced his past, the audience were brought back to his true past, which was the opposite of what was said in front of his fans. His past was where the song ‘Fit as a Fiddle (and ready for love)’ belonged and it encompassed all the truth behind his past. As Don and his pal Cosmo wore a set of checkered green clothes and danced around while playing violins, they looked like young kids who were just entering the adult world. Unlike the Don at the premiere, this Don was the one who loved to play around like small kids and he was prepared for love. He was active, he was strong, and most importantly, he was not wearing an attire that would hide his true self, the white trench coat. Talking about dignity, there were no signs of it when they were performing the song. In fact, it was the opposite. What dignity did they have when they wore funny clothes while dancing like kids on the stage? To make it worse, they were even jeered by the audience after they finished performing. Appropriately, the song did a good job to tell the audience that Don was lying in front of the microphone. This, however, changed once he met his first true love.

Low key lighting is used superbly to create a romantic atmosphere.

The second song, ‘You Were Meant For Me’ is about Don’s feelings toward Kathy. It is important because it shows the audience how Don becomes down to earth once he met his true love. It started as he was showing Kathy around Monumental Studios. Both of them then entered a studio that looked empty and dull at first. But then, Don switched on the lights and at the same time, using the lights as the medium to express his feelings toward Kathy. Using the low key lighting, the lights looked dim but colorful, while the sunset backdrop was enchanting as always. This scene would never be achievable if the film was in black and white. Contrasting to how the two of them first met, this time around, there were honesty and sincereness. Don was no longer in his expensive white coat as he expressed his love toward Kathy. Throughout the whole dance routine, Don never forced Kathy to love him even when she was still reluctant to embrace his love in the early parts of the song. At one point, Kathy looked away from Don as she pondered her life and whether Don is the right man for her. Don’s effort did pay off. Kathy finally accepted his love as she smiled while dancing with Don at the end of the song. Besides, the song also did a brilliant job in showing the turning point of Don and Kathy’s relationship.

‘Singin’ in the Rain’ is, without a doubt, the most famous song from the film. And the scene itself justifies that statement. In general, this song is about letting your inner child out and not pretending to be someone else anymore. In the context of the film, Don was a symbol of a typical celebrity. Like any other famous actors, Don rarely spoke the truth in front of the media. He also regarded himself highly when comparing with other people like how he first met Kathy. However, things had changed a lot since he started to fall in love with Kathy. After being honest in ‘You Were Meant For Me’, he went to another level of being truthful when he managed to let out his inner self under the rain. Again, he didn’t wear the expensive white coat. Besides that, he wasn’t covering himself from the rain with an umbrella despite holding one. As he looked upward, his face symbolised pleasure as he smiled while the raindrops kept falling. Later in the song, there were no lyrics, but just him playing under the raindrops, dancing with the umbrella, and splashing in the puddle. This playful behavior was more of his subconscious that was long repressed by his status as a famous celebrity. Luckily, it was no longer kept inside and for once, he became fit as a fiddle and ready to make love again, just like how he was before he became famous.

Singin’ in the Rain is not a typical musical film. Every single song in the movie was carefully planned to be included in the right part of the story. What makes this movie even more special is the fact that the songs were made even before the film existed. Despite that, every song still fits in so well with the plot and subsequently, providing a strong justification for most prominent film critics to give a legendary status to this film. Needless to say, I agree with the critics completely.

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