Soul, a dream-like emotional journey that reminds adults that life, despite everything, is still magical. It is a 2020 American computer-animated fantasy comedy-drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. We will discuss the film thoroughly, a heads up in case you haven’t watched the film yet, and lets dive into this Soul movie review
A Dream Come True
Why do we really exist? Is it to fulfill a certain goal or just simply to experience life. This journey focuses heavily on the topic of life and the purpose of it. We are presented by Joe Gardner, a middle school teacher from New York city, who teaches music. He is looking for a chance to shine, a chance to make sense of his life and his love for music. And finally, such a thing happens. A former friend of Joe tells him about an opening in the band of jazz legend Dorothea Williams. He auditions there and his dream comes true. Dorthea enjoys his playing and gives him the chance of performing later that night with her band.
When Joe starts playing the piano, you can see that he goes to a place only known to him, a place so intimate and warm. He narrates how he fell in love with music for the first time; his father taking the younger version of him to a Jazz concert and BAM it happened, he fell in love after seeing how the player was so wrapped up in his own world when playing, as if nothing else mattered. Ecstatically walking through the streets after finishing his audition, he fell down a manhole and his life ended. As simple as that. He wakes up to find himself, a shapeless blue thing cramped with other similar shapeless things heading to some place called the “Great Beyond”. The “Great Beyond” is the place where all dead heads. Unwilling to accept such an end to his life, Joe tries to escape but ends up in another place called the “Great Before”. It is a place where counselors, under the name of Jerry, prepare unborn souls for life with the help of mentor souls. Each and every soul at the “Great Before” has a badge which grants this unborn soul its pass to earth, once they find their spark. Joe, mistaken for a mentor, gets assigned to train 22, a tiresome soul who has been in “Great Beyond” for far too long. A Lot of great dead mentors as Mother Teresa got assigned to train 22, but they failed miserably. She just didn’t want to live; she didn’t know what was so great about life anyway. But after Joe explains his situation to her they both sign a pact. They are going to find her spark, Joe will take her pass to earth and go on with his life and she will get to skip it.
In The “Great Beyond”
So, They start experiencing to find 22’s spark. He notices that, as a soul, you can only feel things internally; you can’t feel warm or cold, you can’t feel the chill wind stinging you by or even enjoy food. No wonder 22 hasn’t found her spark yet! In their search, they enter a place called “the zone”. It is a medium between life and death. There, you would find people who are not completely alive nor dead. Trapped inside their own fears they lose themselves and slip. You can also find people in a state of euphoria; so in tune with their feelings. They reach such a state by practicing something that completely absorbs them, until they lose touch with reality. There, they found someone that could help Joe out of the “Great Before”.
They meet a living person called Moonwind, a hippie so Intune with himself that he can actually create this state of euphoria whenever he wants. He sails this land with his long hair, half crazy brain, friends and a boat; saving lost souls. He tells Joe that he can help him back to his body. He started locating his body, but Joe being so impatient jumped the second he saw his body grapping 22 with him by mistake. And boom, they are back to the living land, but not really.
Back to The Living Land
Joe is back as a fluffy orange cat, and 22 is allocated in his living breathing body. They start panicking for a while and then they decide on helping Joe out. They decide on finding Moonwind and asking him to switch them back. On their way 22 gets to experience life or the very first time; she gets to feel the sunlight and its warmth and to enjoy food, in huge amounts. She gets to talk to feel the subtle connection that bonds beings, and suddenly she wasn’t out of place anymore. She got to talk to that girl who wanted to quit playing her instrument, but couldn’t really because she loved playing way too much. She saw the person who didn’t want to become a barber, but he made the most of his job when there was no other way around. And suddenly everything made sense. She stopped wanting to go back to the “ Great Beyond” and started running the other way from the hippie-when they found him- and Joe, the soft chubby cat.
An accountant from the “Great Beyond” named Jerry, was looking for Joe. He found him at that time before he caught 22 and transferred them back. Quickly, Joe escapes from the “Great Beyond ” to the “ Great Before” and finds 22. She has found her spark and it is shining beautifully on her. He convinces her that what ignited her spark is his own dreams and feelings that she experienced in his body. That nothing of it is really hers. Appalled by what he said, she gives him his batch back. He uses her batch and goes back to the living, performs his part in the musical and just then, he realizes that life is way more. After achieving his dream, he realized that life is more than just a goal to chase, that his life wasn’t really meaningless till a dream is achieved . That despite everything life is precious; that the beauty of life is simply in living it. So, he goes back home and figures a way to be transferred to the ”Great Before”, again.
Finding The Spark
He is shocked to find that 22 has turned to a lost soul herself, now that she has actually lived. She is consumed by the fear of never finding herself. When he tried saving her, she gulped him into her darkness. He uses a maple seed 22 had kept to remind her of their time together on the living land, and convinces her that he was mistaken, that life is more than what he thought of it and that she is really ready to live. Remembering that, her darkness started to fade and slowly she returned to her normal self and convinced she jumped back to earth to begin her own story. After fulfilling his mission, Joe prepares himself to leave everything behind and give in. Just then, another Jerry stops him, and offers him another chance at life saying that he took care of the other Jerry. Going back, Joe committed himself to living his life to the fullest and enjoying it.
Soul Movie Reviews
The film was widely received positively among all the viewers of different ages. Some people stress on the fact that it is mostly designed for adults rather than kids. It got a great rating on several websites; 95% on rotten tomatoes and 8.1 on IMDb. Personally, I think it is both a magnificent experience and journey. It reminds you of the child buried deep inside; of the things that skips your heart a beat telling you to hold tight to them. If you want to read more movie reviews click here.