Pixar created another masterpiece film titled, Soul. This movie shocked audiences and brought many to tears with its heartfelt message and interesting take on life. The movie has a black protagonist, a mostly black cast, and is focused on the jazz world and soul music that is so popular in their culture.
The story follows Joe Gardener, a middle school band teacher who is unsatisfied with his life. He has a passion for music and performing, but every gig he tries to snag ends in rejection. When he finally lands the gig of his dreams, he passes away. Joe ends up in a place called the Great Beyond and decides he is not ready to die, so he beats the system and finds his soul in another place called the Great Before, a place where new souls get their personalities for life on earth. He ignores what he had just done and plays it off as if nothing happened. This movie is complex so to understand most of the story you would need to watch it for yourself to fully grasp the concept. The movie form then changes and brings the viewer’s perception of life into play as it tries to describe how people feel and interact with their own lives. The meaning of life is something that everyone has a different opinion on, so it was very interesting to see a Pixar movie take on that daunting task.
One scene, in particular, brought viewers to love this movie, and it’s the barbershop scene. This scene shows the two main protagonists enter a black barbershop in New York City. Critics have claimed the aesthetic and personalities of the people in the barbershop perfectly encapsulate the feel of a real black barbershop. Many black critics loved this scene and said it helped provide perspective and shine a light on black culture. In this scene, the soul named 22, who is now in Joe’s body (like I said, you have to watch the movie), starts to describe her life as a non-living human being. She mentions difficult topics such as why living is valuable, what the meaning of life is, and how she has yet to find the meaning of her own life. The entire shop stares and listens in awe as she rambles on and is completely unaware of how she is impacting them. After they leave, Joe sees 22 start to find joy in life.
However, the movie doesn’t end there. A specifically tear-jerking scene is near the end when 22 finally gets her Earth Pass, Joe steals it and goes back to earth but after his gig, he finds himself unsatisfied with life. He goes back to his apartment and plays the piano to all of the objects 22 had stored in his pockets while in his body. Joe then begins to reflect on his own life, seeing the joy in the little moments and how his family cared about and loved him. As a tear runs down his cheek, he realizes he made a grave mistake and goes back to the Great Before and finally brings 22 to earth.
There is no doubt this movie shook the waters of the industry. Tackling one of the hardest subjects one could speak on, the meaning of life, Pixar hit it out of the park and left tears on the cheeks of viewers. If you have yet to watch, I recommend you do so; invite a family member or friend to watch with you because it is a great topic of discussion.