Soul: Movie Review

Once again, Pixar delivers a masterpiece with "Soul" and even better, the film feels as timely to the crazy and uncertain time we still find ourselves. As we are all still tackling head-on the past, present, and even future effects of the pandemic on our lives, "Soul" is a soothing and remarkable experience that can help its viewers ponder and understand the purpose and meaning of their lives and what it truly means to live life to the fullest especially in these troubling times.
Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) is a New York music teacher who has struggled to make a living out of his passion which is Jazz. On the brink of finally giving up on his lifelong dream, he suddenly receives a call from one of his former students Curly. Curly offers him a chance to play with Jazz legend Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett). He says yes as this will validate his struggles but by chance, Joe dies when he falls into a manhole. Finding himself as a soul and on the way to the Great Beyond, Joe cannot accept the fact that he has missed out on his ultimate shot in life. Not ready to die, he desperately tries to find a way to go back to Earth and fulfill his dream once and for all but finds himself stuck in the Great Before instead - a place where unborn souls are mentored for life on Earth. He is tasked to mentor 22, an unborn soul who has been in the Great Before for millennia unwilling to go to Earth and unable to find her spark to finish her preparation. Can Joe mentor 22 to find her passion and can Joe actually get another shot in life?
In classic Pixar fashion, the visuals are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the excellence that audiences will experience first-hand with "Soul". Who knew that a film about an insignificant man and jazz could turn out to be so deeply moving? But Pixar and the team behind the film found a way to make a truly remarkable and unique narrative out of its simple elements. In fact, this is the rare film that truly surprised us time and time again as its narrative effortlessly introduced life here on earth, beyond, and back. Even its fantastical elements never felt out of place and one that we could see audiences relate to even without the need to latch onto a specific religion or god. At the end of it all, the film was written with a deep message for adults. It will be a thought-provoking and reflective film experience from start to finish - and it will hopefully inspire change in some or most. "Soul" delves into topics of psychology and philosophy but it never felt too complex to understand. "Soul" was approachable yet intricate in so many ways. And yet, it was still able to find a way to even entertain our two and a half year old kid effortlessly. Simply put, "Soul" was perfectly well-rounded and well-balanced and that for us was one of its biggest assets. If we could find one minor issue with the film, it would be that some may find it a little too tame when it came to its emotional and dramatic heft and the ending was a mixed bag for us. Overall, "Soul" is another hit for Pixar not only in terms of technical excellence but more so on the aspects of writing and story-telling.
Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- a film that will inspire adults while entertain kids from start to finish
- a complicated yet entertaining film from start to finish

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- for us, it wasn't as emotional as other Pixar films such as "Coco"
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