Pixar’s Soul was a whimsical and meaningful way to end 2020 with.
Pixar’s Soul Synopsis
What do you consider your purpose in life? For Joe Gardner, he always believed he was born to play Jazz music on the piano. Sadly, though, right after finally getting his big break, Joe walks into a manhole and drops into the afterlife. Determined not to end his life this way, Joe then goes all out to find a way to return to Earth. His quest is made a little easier, and harder, by 22, a cynical soul who conversely has been avoiding life on Earth for several millennia.
Before all else, Happy New 2021! Here’s hoping for a safer and healthier Earth for everyone in the months to come!
Right, back to business. I watched this alone last night as my … socially-distanced New Year celebration. To be brutally honest, I wasn’t excited about the outing and the main reason was that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to Soul.
Yeah. Though I’ve been a Pixar fan since the 90s, and I (love to) think of myself as a Jazz musician, the story didn’t excite me. There’s promise but little freshness, if you know what I mean. It’s like, the afterlife, the purpose of living, haven’t these been under the microscope umpteen times?
Well, I was both right and wrong with my expectations. What I correctly predicted: this is no roller coaster adventure the likes of Onward. There was a crazy middle act, one that the trailers slyly didn’t give away. As hilarious as that was, though, the story overall retained a breezy and subdued ambience. Still full of laughs but with no unforgettable rides or spins.
On the other hand, I have to admit I’ve forgotten about the finesse of Pixar storytelling. Again, what’s examined this time round aren’t questions new to any of us. Hundreds if not thousands of books have been written on these topics. And yet, the way the questions were presented, the metaphors used to express and explore the possible answers, could I just use the word heartfelt to describe the treatment?
Heartfelt, intimate, and entirely relatable. You might not be a musician or aspire to be one, but Joe’s disappointments, fears, and hopes will still be palpable to you. Because they are what all of us have experienced at one point or another in life.
It was, as I highlighted right above, a truly meaningful way to end awful 2020 with. For a start, it made me appreciate a little more the simpler and better things that happened last year.
The final act was admittedly rather rushed. I would have preferred a less ambiguous conclusion too. But in the end, I didn’t really mind. As Joe Gardener ultimately realised, life is meant to be lived, it is not a quest or struggle for purpose.
Correspondingly, movies do not necessarily have to end on a concrete note.
Check out my other snappy movie reviews.