From the opening scenes, i was thinking i'd be giving this a 9 out of 10! I was loving it! It looks beautiful, the music is great, and i love the introduction of the fiddler on the roof as a metaphor for life's daily struggles, but the final act of the film isn't hopeful enough for me. And i guess that's the point. But the contrast with the humour and joy of the rest of the film is striking, and sad. So, it's an 8.
2-3. It has some really good edits, form cuts, and overlays, but I can see why someone would say it doesn't have a lot of visual sexiness for a musical. The material, itself, kind of lacks an internal engine for conflict. Religious austerity gives way to liberalism in increasingly more radical shades; usually with very little resistance. Though I did appreciate the dry, earthy sense of humor.
" A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn't easy. You may ask 'Why do we stay up there if it's so dangerous?' Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: tradition! "
The first time I saw this movie, I loved it but I thought it was too long and the pacing was off, so I avoided rewatching it. I saw it again finally and I didn't find it to be nearly as bad as I remembered. Maybe I was in just the right mood though. Great stage-to-theatre adaptation in my opinion.