Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Come on with the rain, I've a smile on my face

This week a two-day rainstorm settled over the Washington area and soaked us with about four inches. Whenever I'm out in the rain, I whistle "Singin' in the Rain," of course, and twirl on lamp posts. I mean, why not. After 36 hours of raining and twirling, though, it gets tiresome. So I started thinking about effective rainstorms in movies to take my mind off the deluge. Here are ones that immediately jumped to mind. Please add yours in the comments.

Jurassic Park. The automated Jeeps break down. A rainstorm gathers, the sky darkens, drops begin to fall (the plop-plop-plop on the Jeep's roof gives way to the T-Rex's distant stomping). Vision is obscured and sounds are muffled. Terror can leap from anywhere. The rain, in addition to being nerve-wrackingly atmospheric, also saves Lex and Tim: without the quickly muddied ground, the Jeep would've been crushed under the T-Rex's foot instead of sinking slowly.
Match Point. Sure, you can argue the rain is nature's way of disapproving of adultery, but I'm pretty sure Woody Allen uses it here for its erotic qualities alone.
The Shawshank Redemption. The drama of Tim Robbins' jailbreak is amplified by the thunder and lightning, and when he finally wrests himself free of the drainpipe he is met with a purgative downpour. It's a second baptism.
Singin' in the Rain. Obviously. It's situational irony here. Guy is ecstatically happy in crappy weather. In fact, the crappy weather serves to capitalize his Ecstasy simply by contrasting it. Bring on the shit, he says. It doesn't matter 'cause I'm in love. The sun's not in the sky; it's in his heart.
The Sound of Music. Liesl revels in puberty in the gazebo with Rolfe, then whees outside as lightning cracks and her white gown gets wet. It's a low-level loss of innocence, a metaphorical deflowering. The moment wouldn't have seemed as rebellious and wild if it wasn't pouring.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The English Patient: Hana, Caravaggio, and Kip run out into the rain, carrying Almasy on a stretcher.

Rusty said...

The Shawshank storm was more than just a second baptism. It was a plot necessity. Without the thunder, Andy wouldn't have been able to smash that crap pipe.

I've always loved that because the poor guy's been digging for 20 years. And when he finally gets to the end of the tunnel, he has to wait for rain. Something so long in the making is in the cruel hands of the weather.

J.J. said...

You're right. Wonderful.

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