What is your spark? What is your purpose in life? What makes life worth living? These are the soul-searching questions Disney and Pixar’s new movie, Soul, raises.
Soul follows middle-aged high school band teacher Joe (voice of Jamie Foxx), who is still struggling to fulfill his dream of being a jazz musician. When he finally gets his big break to join the Dorothea Williams Quartet, he excitedly leaves his successful audition and falls down an open manhole.
Joe is sent to the Great Beyond where his soul is being forced to move on. But Joe is unwilling to depart, stumbling into the Great Before where souls prepare for life on Earth. Here, he pretends to be a mentor to a soul named 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who likes her life as is. They make a deal — Joe will help 22 find her “spark,” which will grant her an “Earth pass,” and then she’ll give the pass to Joe so he can return to his body while she will continue to live in the Great Before.
What follows is a journey of self-discovery that asks all the big questions in the quest to find one’s spark. It hits all the right notes and is clearly meant to address older audiences. The film takes big concepts about life and purpose and personality and packages it in a cute, easy to understand formula.
My favorite part of the movie is when 22 becomes a lost soul. She literally goes down a dark hole, remembering all the negative things people said to her, which breaks her down. I thought this scene was truly reflective of society and how it causes some people to go down a spiral of negative thinking. I liked the way this scene was created and handled.
Directed by Pixar veteran Pete Docter and co-directed by Kemp Powers, Soul is packed with hilarious jokes and emotional messages that really hit home. It addresses issues for kids and adults alike — especially now, as people are in lockdown pondering what really matters to them. The big question the film asks is a valuable lesson: enjoy every moment because life is short.
Soul is electrifying, soulful, sharply entertaining and packed with philosophical questions that stay with you long after the film has ended.
Soul streams on Disney+ beginning December 25. ~Marriska Fernandes
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