Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Orphan Story Part - II

Why all the orphanage have to be run by some greedy, cruel persons? Why it should be a hard-knock life for the little girls in the orphanage? Because if somebody gets lucky like Annie, it'll be a magical experience!
In the same series of movies where I watched 'Oliver!' for the first time, I watched 'Annie' and was bowled over again. I had heard its soundtrack before; songs were good, but they never happened to be so touching before I watched the movie.
Annie is a little orphan girl of eleven years staying at Miss Hannigan's Orphanage. One day the secretary of billionaire Oliver Warbucks comes to the orphanage in search of a girl whom Mr. Warbucks may adopt as a PR stunt. She, charmed by Annie, takes Annie with her to the billionaire's palace. Mr. Warbucks is a never-smiling bachelor man with practically no soft feelings! Annie and her dog Sandy with their childly plays soon become a nuisance to Warbucks. But he doesn't throw them away as it may send a wrong message to public and his image may get hampered. Annie is a charming girl, vibrant, gay and vivacious. And her charms comes to play. Mr. Warbucks starts to show affection towards this young girl and the world starts to change! But the villains are always on lookout and ... well lets not make this a spoiler. But you know all's well that ends well.
Very simple plot, and similar fluent screenplay. This, too was adapted from a stageplay with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. Very well acted movie, though all the charecters are typical. But in a movie like this you don't look for acting calibre of some characters, you look for performance of the entire team and its amalgamation with the story and the music that flows behind. It is successfull in this.
There is something beyond all these points which makes this movie something special. It is the songs and the situations of the songs. Or to be more precise, three songs touched me very much. The movie opens with a Annie and Molly, another orphan sitting on the window on a dark night and singing the slow tune of 'May be'. I can't help reproducing the lyrics over here:
Maybe far away
Or maybe real nearby
He may be pouring her coffee
She may be straighting this tie!
Maybe in a house
All hidden by a hill
She's sitting playing piano,
He's sitting paying a bill!

Betcha they're young
Betcha they're smart
Bet they collect things
Like ashtrays, and art!
Betcha they're good --
(Why shouldn't they be?)
Their one mistake
Was giving up me!

So maybe now it's time,
And maybe when I wake
They'll be there calling me "Baby"...

Betcha he reads
Betcha she sews
Maybe she's made me
A closet of clothes!
Maybe they're strict
As straight as a line...
Don't really care
As long as they're mine!

So maybe now this prayer's
The last one of it's kind...
Won't you please come get your "Baby"

That moment I feel a teardrop rolling down my cheek! And I love all these little girls who spent their 'Hard Knock Life' with smiles with just a single hope that someday they'll surely find their parents.
After Annie is adopted by Mr. Warbucks, in one sequence Miss Hannigan sings out her laments ('Little Girls') and you see the cruel Miss Hannigan in a different way. She is cruel to the girls, that is not her fault, it is her destiny.
Little girls
Little girls
Everywhere I turn I can see them
Little girls
Little girls

Night and day
I eat, sleep and breathe them
I'm an ordinary woman
With feelings
I'd like a man to nibble on my ear
But I'll admit no man has bit
So how come I'm the mother of the year?

Third time when Mr. Warbucks launches a search for Annie's parents, in a radio show Bert Healy and Boylan Sisters sing out 'You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile' and the little girls carry through the song in their orphanage, suddenly you feel the world is not that bad in spite of all these sorrows and injustice.
There is nothing special in this movie. But you know sometimes there are some very simple and ordinary things which you love more than some precious, beautiful great things you like.

And I love this movie.

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