It is not a compelling story to disillusion yourself from. It is a topic which I feel closely connected to in many ways.
Musicals are not simply musicals, they have had a great influence in my life, teaching many lessons. I am sure this has not just been of my benefit but others too!
Musicals are undoubtedly one of the most popular forms of entertainment on the planet. These treasured delights are enjoyed by many across the world and have been enjoyed for decades.
Musicals have been entertaining millions for many years. From the silver screen classics such as Singin’ In The Rain and High Society to more modernised hits such as Mamma Mia.
Musicals arguably being one of the best forms of entertainment, I will analyse the influence they have held over the years.
Musicals aren’t just people singing for just over an hour, many hold an influential message behind them, whether it is a strive for equality or the importance of change.
First, we have West Side Story (1961), the key theme being diversity set at a time of cultural change within New York City. A story in which a young boy Tony – From the Jets falls in love with a young girl (Maria, her brother being in the Sharks) from an opposite gang and ethnicity group – there is nothing to be done, they conceal their love for as long as they find bearable.
Arguably being viewed as a modernised Romeo and Juliet. West Side Story includes some of the greatest musical songs out there such as ‘America’, it holds an important message, the message of accepting one another and living peacefully in a diverse society.
The lyrics from ‘Something’s Coming’ as sung by Tony arguably convey this message ‘It’s only just out of reach’, here we can see that possibly this is a reference towards a strive for cultural equality, Tony seeming to accept the change in the modernising world, hoping people will do the same.
Les Miserables (2012) also holds an extremely important message, it demonstrates the importance of equality. Set during the French Revolution, at a time where change was necessary. The revolutionaries representing the change that is needed in the world, the leader, Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) wears red along with waving a red flag signifying passion and hope is indeed a very powerful message.
Also conveying the message of forgiveness which is ideal for today’s society. The bishop says to Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) he may use the precious silver, he stole to become an ‘honest man’, during the film, this was a turning point for Valjean, demonstrating that one act of forgiveness can change a person’s ways and the way in which they perceive the world. The bishop giving these riches to start a new life, he is struck by this opportunity and the kind hearted man.
In contrast with this, we have inspector Javert, played by Russell Crowe, arguably the most intriguing character, he believes he is serving God as he punishes all these men, expecting to be punished when he does wrong. It is evident that Javert does not understand the concept of forgiveness as Valjean lets him live instead of killing him, again demonstrating the difficulty of Javert.
Musicals do not only hold important messages but they influence society, change the way in which we think of everyday life.
Carousel (1956) being an important one. Billy is told he can return to earth for one day to make amends what he put right, his daughter is constantly ridiculed due to her father trying to commit a robbery. Throughout it all, Billy just wanted to remind his wife that he loved her – this is a really important message, suggesting we should not take everyday life for granted, but we should really look out for our loved ones.
The Phantom Of The Opera (2004) also conveys an important message, following a masked man who wishes to get closer to a vocalist at a theatre (Christine Daee) . The Phantom eventually reveals he loves her, Christine later removes his mask, revealing his deformities, he then reveals that he ‘dreams of beauty’, this film carries a very solemn message, being that it is not what’s on the outside but it is what’s on the inside, the Phantom being ridiculed for being the way he was, all he wanted was love, this is very important as it demonstrates a key theme even for today’s society, everyone needs love, show appreciation towards others and have a kind heart.