Soul Movie Review: In a year that made us introspect our own lives (while slogging it out for our jobs), it’s kind of poignant that one of the last movies to grace our screens happen to be Soul. Disney-Pixar’s new animation film, directed by Pete Docter, is about trying to figure out the purpose of your life, which may or may not necessarily mean what you really want. Just what Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) is about to find out. Soul Trailer: Jamie Foxx’s Joe Has To Deal With ‘Before Life’ World and It Is Interesting!
When Joe, a middle-aged single music teacher passionate about jazz, gets a chance to play in the troupe of the famed Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett), he believes he is about to make it finally. Where he actually makes it to is to the Great Beyond, or rather his soul, after he falls down a manhole.
Not willing to let go off his life just when he is about to achieve his biggest dream, Joe’s soul tries to escape reaching the The Great Beyond, and in the process, he lands down in the Great Before. The Great Before is a place where souls are sent to Earth with their pre-determined personalities.
There, Joe is mistaken for a psychologist and is assigned to mentor 22 (Tina Fey), a stubborn soul who has a very low opinion of life on Earth and hasn’t bothered to leave The Great Before for a 1000 years. Through 22, Joe needs to find a way to return to his body on Earth and have his last hurrah.
Watch the Trailer:
Soul is exactly the kind of product that you expect from a Disney-Pixar film, or make that, a good Disney-Pixar film. Even if it follows the same trappings of a Disney-Pixar movie. Like the below –
Two characters with clashing personalities on a unified journey – Check.
A character realising that his or her goal isn’t what defines his or her end-means, and facing the true value of companionship – Check.
An antagonist that merely adds roadblocks that do little much to the plot – Check.
Two friends end up antagonising each other, before a reality check turns them back as friends – Check.
Despite the plot-templates being followed, Soul is still a lovely film, even if it isn’t soul-enriching as it aims to be. The visuals are fantastic and make you regret that you are not able to watch the film on the big screen. The music score (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross) is immensely terrific, be it the jazz portions or the other-worldly score whenever The Great Beyond arrives. OTT Releases Of The Week: George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, Sara Ali Khan, Varun Dhawan’s Coolie No 1, Pankaj Tripathi’s Criminal Justice Season 2 and More.
The humour is subtle and enjoyable, mostly thanks to a fantastic chemistry between Foxx (excellent) and Fey (always awesome), along with the rest of an amazing voice-cast. Also, don’t ignore the little gag that Pixar plays on Jordan Peele’s Get Out, through an interesting Freaky Friday-like plot twist.
But what is the main strength of Soul, like any great Pixar film, is when it strikes the right kind of emotions. Especially in the third act. While the film is still sticking close to a template, the scenes are beautifully portrayed and the emotions stick right where you need them to stick to. And we have just one more Pixar movie to love in this world!
PS – I refuse to believe that in so many centuries, only Joe manages to escape from the path of the Great Beyond, as Terry the soul counter claims. The rebellious spirit in any human is not gonna die that easily!
– The Visuals, The Voice-Acting and the Music
– The Emotional Third Act
– Adhering to a Pixar Template
Don’t know about the rest of the films arriving this week, but Soul does manage to bring some needed cheer at the end of what has been a soul-crushing year. Soul is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar in India from December 25.
(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Dec 21, 2020 05:41 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).