Title: Fiddler on the Roof
Language: English, Hebrew, Russian
Genre: Drama, Family, Musical
Director: Norman Jewison
Screenwriter: Joseph Stein
adapted from the stories of Sholom Aleichem
Music: Jerry Bock
Cinematography: Oswald Morris
Paul Michael Glaser
As Hollywood is a place gathering all the potent and filthy rich Jews, there is no wonder this Jewish drama-musical could become a sensation in 1971, garnered 8 OScar nominations including BEST PICTURE, DIRECTOR, ACTOR, S. ACTOR and harvested 3 of them (music score, sound and cinematography).
Running time is over 180 minutes, I exerted myself quite hard to finish the film. Being an adaption of a success musical, the film version holds steady the same axiom “Music is the cure!”. The melodies and riffs have a dominating impact so that the shallowness of the corny script (three marriages, specifically encountering money, politics and religion obstacles) should not hinder the sonic amalgam.
I’m rather a peculiar person, as usually, musical has never been my cup of tea, let alone a prolonged one, despite of the fact that I’m a true contemporary music aficionado. The only fun I can acquire is from Topol’s “If I Were a Rich Man”, which I just realized is the catchy refrain of Gwen Stefani’s hit single “Rich Girl”.
Maybe after 40 years, the didactic preaching through music has been outdated for my generation, also in a utopian world, Jewish or not is not an issue anymore (the same thing suitable for genders, religions, colors or sex orientations), so bearing the label of a nihilist, I find that John Williams soul-freeing score are much more tempting than Jerry Bock’s oldies soundtrack. Anyway, one thing I can not deny is Topol’s strenuous but fabulous performance (personally Paul Mann’s Lazar wolf is my pick), which will never become bleached through all these years.