Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Annie- A Gangster Film. Annie Get Your Gun?

At a first noncritical viewing of the film, it is very hard to see Annie as a Gangster film in the slightest. It seems to just be a story about an orphan girl with the heart of gold who is later rewarded for her good deeds in the form of being adopted by a wealthy tycoon-Rockefeller-type fellow who she changes for the better. It almost appears to be a story about the American Dream and the idea that anyone can move up from rags to riches.

However, that is in fact a theme very common in the Gangster genre itself. The film is set during the Great Depression and prohibition era- a time where amongst all this poverty the fortunate few- which included the gangsters ruled supreme. It was a time where people were allowed to grow massive and greed was able to flourish. There was a notion amongst the elite that "the world is your's" which is seen in Scarface. However, these ideas are ultimately misguided and only lead to suffering down the road. In the gangster films we watched, these ultimately cause the downfall of plenty of men. They had an apetite that could never be filled and ate themselves to death. In Annie, Warbucks originally has a very capitalistic and drive for this American Dream where enough was never enough; however, Annie ultimately helps him see the error of his ways and move past this. During this period of his life early in the movie, despite all of his success, he is depressed and lonely. It doesn't matter how much he had because he doesn't have anyone he loves to share it with. In Annie, he is able to recover from this and change for the better without having to go completely off the deep end in his hunt for more power.


The songs in the movie are a very interesting thing to look at. The film starts off with Annie pining for her parents to come back eventually in a slow and sweet ballad. It truly helps establish the mood of the film along with the tenderness and purity of her character which is pivotal to the story. I think the use of songs actually helps drive the narrative forward. The film would truly be missing something without its songs. Despite the hardships these kids face, they are still able to sing and have fun. It shows that even in poverty there can be fun and happiness and you are true of heart. It helps bring across a sincere message and tone for the film.

It's a dirty world but it's happy!

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