Sing (2016) – Auditions Begin

★★½

I love “Zootopia”. Who doesn’t? Regardless of its fandom, there is a charming moment, a specific part, and even the allegory, especially you know what I’m talking about, in “Zootopia”. Above all, it’s a great movie in 2016. Speaking about 2016, there is a musical movie as well, “La La Land”, directed by Damien Chazelle. It’s a sweet romance movie with sets with more contemporary and depicts an aesthetic of Hollywood classic. It’s a great movie too, one of the best in 2016 along with other Oscar and motion picture films.

2016 was full of great movies, decent movies, and bad movies too. However, “Sing” lost the opportunity to offer a fresh yet new idea. There are so many animations that use animals as characters. In essence, they act like humans. So, what happens when you combine “Zootopia” and “La La Land” in one film? Or it could be like this: what happens when you combine all shows from Animal Planet and a reality show about singing? You got this movie. And well, that’s not good.

“Sing” can surprise the audience. I’m not a fan of a contest show like America’s Got Talent. It’s a manipulative show that tries to exploit the content by talking about their experience and private life. I saw a lot of these shows and there were even worse. But, I don’t want to talk about the show. For your information, there are so many great reality shows out there. So, I’m not talking about all shows as a whole but I’m talking about shows that are trying to manipulate the audience.

Illumination, before “Sing”, also ripped-off “Toy Story” and created “The Secret Life of Pets”. Instead of toys, they used dogs as their material. And if you still don’t know who they are, “Despicable Me” or we always know because of their mascot, Minions, is their one of the biggest assets in their headquarter. I still don’t understand what “Sing” was more. And most importantly, I still don’t know why they used animals as characters in the main set and plot. I understand why “Zootopia” works. It’s because they were just supposed to be an animal, try to do their every day of life but always have trouble because of their characteristics and instincts as animals. It’s the same as “BoJack Horseman” as well because you want to question the symbolism and why or you just didn’t think it as well.

“Sing” isn’t like “Zootopia” or “BoJack Horseman”. The plot goes like this: a koala from his childhood loved the world of theater. With his father’s hard work, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) buys and manufactures his theater in the city. He is so passionate about his theater, but financial problems begin to afflict little by little. The theater began to look quiet. With his passion for creating something amazing, he uses all his remaining money by holding a singing competition.

The koala only has one hundred dollars. On the day of the audition, he was surprised because many people were waiting in line to take part in the talent event. The reason why because there is a misunderstanding, made him think to surrender and continue the show even though he couldn’t do the recognition anymore. “Sing” trying to define each character. It has a dramatic purpose in why they want to win the competition. But, it’s not a film about a competition or talent event. At the end of the day, I just don’t know either. The purpose of this film is to tell the relationship between characters with different passions. It’s kind of like a hyperlink cinema, like “Magnolia” or “Pulp Fiction“, but it’s for kids and everyone.

This is what the problem is because there are no protagonists and characters to root for. For a film like this, it’s hard to conclude which characters deserved everything. Especially this is a movie for kids also, is it true that if the kids will choose their favorite characters and bet they will win later? It’s not “Zootopia”, and I mention it again, has a characteristic like animals in general and they all try to act like humans. However, I love “Zootopia” because it wants to break all of those stereotypes to all of these animals. Like the ending as well where there is a frame in specific animals, it’s about how the animals aren’t all the same.

While “Zootopia” tries to break the stereotypes, “Sing” comes and tries to improve the stereotype. I don’t have the problem with all the cast. Taron Egerton has fantastic performance and a relatable plot. There are Seth MacFarlane and Scarlett Johansson along with John C. Reilly. And yeah, it’s just the cast who has a lot of fun with this movie. It does feel like all of the music in this movie are all promoting and at the end of the day, it does feel it. I would like this movie better if they use lots of original songs like Disney always does in their classic movie.

I just don’t have any connection at all from all of these characters, especially I hate the ending. How all these characters have different missions and passions is the reason why I hate the ending. But, it ends with there was no winner. It wastes the potential from the premise itself. And if I use the “it’s just a movie for kids” card, I would feel like the antagonist. “Sing” has a lot of potential with the characters but there is nothing to convey of why all of these are capitalized. People always say this movie has a musical surprise element. And the performance has awesome sounds too. But, one question: why?

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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