Review of “Fiddler on the Roof” (1971)

A person playing a violin – image from Pexels – NOT from the movie

The film (based on the famous live musical) starts off with a poor milkman, named Tevye. He narrates to the audience (or breaks the fourth wall) about his life, people, their traditions, and culture. He and his wife want to marry their oldest daughter, Tzeitel, to a man named Lazar Wolf. But Tzeitel resists. She falls in love with a younger man called Motel and Tevye approves… at least for a bit.

The movie has some interesting aspects, such as how all of Tevye’s daughters have hair down to their butts. I wonder if the actresses had to grow their hair that long or if they faked it with wigs or extensions. 

Also, why do all the girls in that family have super long hair? Were they unable to get haircuts for whatever reason?

Other parts that I admire include how Tevye sounds a little bit like Hagrid from “Harry Potter,” the catchiness of the “Matchmaker” song, and how “If I Were a Rich Man” sounded a bit like “Rich Girl” by Gwen Stefani. I assume that was one of the sources.

Unfortunately, despite the perks, the film had a lot of unsatisfactory moments, such as lagging parts that really could have been reduced (i.e. the dance scene ⅓ of the way into the story), the arguing of a horse’s age by a group of villagers, and times when the scenes detract from the plot.

The biggest pitfall is how many elements have not aged at all. I found myself becoming impatient over a decent amount of the film and kept thinking about how those parts would likely not work well today.

Overall, the movie ended up being just okay. I read the synopsis on Wikipedia before watching the film and predicted that it wouldn’t be a 5-star masterpiece. I would rate this 3 out of 5 stars.

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

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