Fiddler on the Roof is not a perfect motion picture - it is too long and there are times when it's obvious that the musical numbers have been pre-recorded then lip-synched - but it represents an enjoyable three hours.
Tevye is a good person struggling with the change that is occurring all around him. Many of us may see ourselves similarly.
All right, the specific changes in the Fiddler movie are historic (which some would say are interesting on their own), such as marriage arranged by a matchmaker), but if we can generalise that to how does Tevye handle complex situations and change, then it speaks to us today.
One theme is the passage of time, and your children growing up. The beautiful song Sunrise, Sunset captures this, and from the vantage point of several characters. If your own kids have grown up, like mine have, the emotional power of the melody, lyrics, characters, and story situation--can bring a bit of a tear to the eye.
I know people have complained about the length of this movie. Yeah, it is long, three hours approximately, but there are so many things that compensate. Norman Jewison's direction is very good, and the film is stylishly filmed, with some nice cinematography and there are nice scenery and costumes. The choreography is great, energetic in parts and graceful in others. Next, the music is outstanding. The incidental music largely reminiscent of Russian folk music is a real treat, but the songs are outstanding. The beautiful "Sunrise, Sunset", the fun "Tradition", the idealistic "Match Maker" and the energetic "If I Were A Rich Man", all amazing. Also, Topol, what an absolutely brilliant performance. He put body and soul into Tevye, successfully mixing humour, wisdom and poignancy and the result is one of the most memorable performances in any musical to grace our screens. All the other performances are wonderful, I liked it all five daughters had distinct personalities, and Norma Crane is fantastic as the mother. The story is both tight and poignant, about a milkman of Jewish values, who wishes his five daughters to marry. In conclusion, wonderful and definitely memorable. 10/10 Bethany Cox
Very hard to take with the film sitting up and practically slobbering in its eagerness to prove how loveable it is. A pity, because the score isn't half bad (the show-stopping 'If I Were a Rich Man' almost gets lost), the choreography has possibilities, and Topol is distinctly personable.
The qualities that have kept the Broadway Fiddler running these seven years are in scant supply onscreen. Gone with barely a trace are warmth, joy, insight and even the most elementary kind of entertainment.
I just saw this movie and it’s 2020 and must I say I am so impressed and touched. It’s sooo well done. I wish more people knew about it. It holds up on my top list of fav classic old movies ( like Lawrence of Arabia, Gone with the Wind, Dr. Zhivaho....) and I dislike musicals!! It was entertaining while it taught me a bit of Jewish tradition mixed with history. When movies first started I had my doubts of thinking this will be a bore, I am not interested in Jewish traditions and don’t like too much singing. I hated Le Mis the movie, but gave this one a chance.
It was perfect, the acting, Dancing, singing and choreography was perfect , someone mentioned choreography of the dance scenes were weak, I **** don’t need these villagers dancing with perfect choreography and ballet or professional dance moves, the movie shows them singing and dancing like I would with my friends and sister.
Tevye is just brilliant, the signings , his voice, the acting...just fantastic. I watched the whole thing and didn’t once look at what time it was as the movie is 3 hours long. A must see, I will watch it again just to enjoy this magnificent movie.