Thursday, July 11, 2013

[Movie Review] Sita Sings the Blues

So due to some groups I'm in I stumbled across this charming little movie titled "Sita Sings the Blues".

Now where to begin? I guess from the start right? Well, the movie makes its style seen and heard at the very top of the film where (I think it is Lakshimi) emerges from the water accompanied by a peacock record player which begins spouting Annete Henshaw. When she fixes it an explosion happens and we go through the cosmos and creation then to Earth.

Oh yeah, and it is animated in quite a beautiful style. The whole film is, in fact. 

That sets the stage and tone, and if that sounds uninteresting let me know because it really is kind of a cool scene.

The movie has two story lines, it follows Sita's story from the epic Ramayana. It is a tale of loss, duty, rejection, and devotion that really is quite intense and heart breaking, yet the serious tone is set-off by the director's choice of having many key moments and plot points expressed by Sita singing Annete Henshaw's songs (get the title yet?) which really helps detract from things like Rama killing millions of demons. The second story is that of Nina and Dave, a couple. Dave eventually gets whisked off to India for a job. I won't give away too much, but lets say that Nina's story mirrors Sita's in some ways. . .

Along with this we also have 3 shadow-puppets who pop-up and narrate the story for us from time to time, setting the stage, explaining things, that sort of stuff. They really are QUITE hilarious and narrate in the matter of three very confused puppets trying to sort this story out, bickering a bit and correcting each other. It really is just some brilliant work that they do.

The animation is stylized and strange, and beautiful. I can't really describe it since I don't have the correct terms, but it is an adorable and unique kind of cartoony. Layered in-between these segments we have animation that heavily draws from more traditional Hindu art and culture, which is usually used when the shadow puppets are explaining things. The cartoony style is usually used for when the characters (Sita, Rama, Nina, Dave, Hanuman etc) are acting as themselves Nina and Dave also have a different animation style than Sita and Rama, which makes everything clearly delineated.

I really have no true complaints with this movie, it stands out, it is unique and charming, and it does its job of entertaining while giving us a truly moving story.

Watch it, it is free on Youtube and I'll make it easy and even put up the video for you.

Rating: 8.5/10

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A young man living in North Texas. He is an actor, a Hellenistos, and a proud member of Hellenion.