“Sing” is a 2016 American 3D musical comedy film, written and produced by Garth Jennings, starring Matthew McConaughey, as Buster Moon, Reese Witherspoon, as Rosita, Seth MacFarlane, as Mike, Scarlett Johansson, as Ash, Tori Kelly as Meena and others. The plot revolves around a theater, and his owner Buster Moon, who following financial problems decides to host a singing competition with a 1,000$ prize, but his assistant accidentally types two extra zeros, and the prize becomes 100,000$ and fliers are blown out into the city. Animals from all around the city gather for auditions, the movie focuses on five main applicants, namely, Rosita, a wife with 25 children, street musician mouse Mike, mobster’s son gorilla Johnny, Ash, the porcupine, and Meena, the shy teenage elephant.
Then every character has a turning point, the talented Meena, after failing audition, gets back but as a stagehand, and so. The screening day the show is interrupted by bears Mike owed money to, they open the chest with the prize money and there was no 100,000$. A glass tank in the theatre breaks and the theatre is destroyed, the contestants visit Moon and try to cheer him up but he starts over by opening a car wash, soon he decides to reinstate the show without prize money after hearing Meena sings. Challenged by the fact that, Nana, his rich friend Eddie’s grandmother, could sponsor his theatre whether it was successful.
Having seen the movie, I realize how great it is, maybe on the same platform as Inside Out and Zootopia. This is not because it is just a good movie, though it is, with wonderful employment of comedy to support its deep layers. The amount of psychological insights is unbelievable; we shall go through some of those in detail. One of my best scenes is Meena’s first audition, it deeply shows us her lack of confidence as a result of her grandfather’s words that if he had her voice, he would be a star, he secretly criticizes her potentiality to succeed and delivers her –even unconsciously, a hidden message that she doesn’t have what it takes to make it. It is important to state that she is a sensitive person, so a word could cause series damage, not too easy to repair, and her inner barrier to re-audit demonstrates the tremendous amount of fear she has for being looked upon as rejected. What she really needs is to realize the reality, that her voice was great and that she could perform without the perceived fear of being rejected.
Another great scene where Johnny confronts his father in jail, his father projects his failure on his son and his son refuses conformity, and this is actually one of my favorite scenes as it uncovers a deeper layer of paradox. The paradox here is because of that Johnny’s father don’t want his son to be a loser (like himself) naturally on one hand, and on the other hand he is doing everything to keep his son close to him, as if he is afraid of letting him go and he fails (just like he did). We can understand now why his father was so upset from a different perspective, which explains how he was proud of him at the end, for Johnny was able to drive away from him and still yet to succeed. If Johnny’s grandfather was also a mobster that would have been a top-notch detail, but unfortunately it was not there. It is important for those who have not seen the movie to look for the deep layers rather than being comfortable with the outermost layer.
The best scene in the movie is when Rosita comes up with the machinery to do the housework, in order to have time to pursue her dream, it is vital to look at her husband and kids’ reaction. They do not miss her, they do not feel someone is missing, later in the movie when the machinery breaks they feel something is missing, and start to yell her name. That scene reflects very vital concept, she is not important to them as a person, but as a machinery doing the same boring housework. That is what she was to them. She knew that, that is how she really feels, her husband bares no trouble to show her that she is physically important, but he would not know, he is not aware of it, the machine performed even the byes to the kids mechanically that they were void of any personal connection, and the machine could get it done. The husband here is the one needing to see how he is destroying his marriage, by not realizing how important is the emotional, physical and actual presence to his wife and how he should reveal her potentialities instead of suppressing it for the claimed sake of the family.
Another great scene where Ash gets home and finds her boyfriend with another person, because it reflects how someone could lose his partner due to deep psychological complications. The boyfriend needs to compensate his crushing feelings of inferiority by controlling someone else, to prove to himself that he is not weak. He does not really care for her; he actually cares for her being the weak part of the relationship so that he can control her. When she has the chance to break away from this dilemma, he cannot accept it and starts to search for another one to control, justifying that to himself (and to her) that she was not around, but actually, her old weak portrait was what was not around. What is great about this movie is that the same concept can be found in the relationship of Moon and his assistant, he will not fire her after her terrifying mistakes, and he needs her to stay in order to control her.
One of the best concepts presented in the as well is parenteral emotional blackmail, whether you are a mobster as Johnny’s father, or a caring mother as Menna’s, both are trying to secretly blackmail their children in order to make them comply to their desires. Whereas Moon experiences that although his father is not around, he is always craving to be up to his expectation instead of being his own self. He wants to please him so much that gave me the idea that he is compensating his inability to do as when his father was alive, the result is a deceiving person all he cares about is his social image. This clearly appears when he chooses the contestants, all he cares about is their image, socially, and this reflects his priority to have a good-looking image to please a probably criticizing father. Being called Moon is a genius touch, he is far away from understanding and communicating with others, blinded by his strive for good looks.
The movies succeeds brilliantly in making his audience empathize with his characters and their dilemmas, I was deeply touched by each character as it went through an emotional, moral, or psychological dilemma. As for the challenges regarding children, the movie brilliantly draw a full portrait of some vital concepts such as emotional blackmail (in case of Meena and Johnny), the parenteral urge to conform his/her child (in case of Johnny and his dilemma with his father), and conditioned love (as in case of Ash and her boyfriend).
The most important disagreement I have with the movie is how the makers clearly deviate from a character psychological portrait for the sake of drama, two scenes are obvious, the first is Mike cheating at the casino, Mike is a egotistic narcissist who think he is better than everyone, he feels he needn’t cheat because he is better than everybody. The other scene is the husband kissing Rosita after her performance near the end, as if he suddenly realized the importance of emotional and physical presence to her, the makers here just broke the character pattern for the sake of drama making him miraculously turn into the gentle and caring husband.
I didn’t also like the predictability of Johnny’s father’s gang’s heist time being at the same time as the show, and the dilemma he would getting into for either conform to his father or resist the power of conformity and go after his dreams, it is beautifully made but it could have been more unpredictable.
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