Whoever said animated films are for kids have really inadequate knowledge of them. While a large number of them do cater to children, here’s a film for you this weekend that will charm you with its wit – Sita Sings the Blues.
The story of Ramayana blending in with the contemporary set up running parallel, this film is undoubtedly the most intriguing version of the epic I have ever encountered. Enchantingly original, one can simply say Kudos to the director!
The film has a strong feminist tinge to it, with Sita being its protagonist. I can safely put Sita has never looked so darn hot before. A voluptuously gorgeous princess, she recounts the entire story relevantly shifting from the past to the present.
Running alongside is the auto biographical story of the director Nina Paley. Living in a posh San Francisco apartment with her husband Dave and their pet cat, the couple is very happily married to state the cliché. Relaxed in the comfortable arrangement of her life, the problem arises when Dave and Nina venture into a long distance relationship, with Dave leaving for India for a temporary project. Sore from loneliness and missing her spouse, Nina travels to India to meet Dave. All her excitement is washed away when, she is met with affectionless and lust less displeasure from Dave. Eventually Dave heartlessly breaks up with Nina over an email.
With a shattered life to put together again, Nina finds solace in Ramayana, relating herself distinctly with Sita. Walking into a new life on the East Coast, Nina conceives the idea of this film and works hard for half a decade and perfects it meticulously.
This film isn’t heart wrenching or melodramatic. The film is essentially blunt and straight forward. But scores for its mere honesty alone. The constant satire has been used very dramatically. The tales from Ramayana are recounted in the most unlikely ways possible. The stories are so engaging and yet it is retold from a point of view rather unknown to most Indians. Nina drawing inspiration from Sita is the most poignant point of the story.
What’s impressing is the idea itself, rare and miraculous at the same time. It is commendable how Paley puts together varied elements and yet smoothly, relevantly synchronizes past and present. Sita’s tale of despair is wonderfully brought on screen with a few brilliant jazz tracks by Anette Hanshaw, finely portraying the pain of the narrator. The most striking sequence was the musical Sita performs after being abandoned by her husband.
Though the film ran into a few irrelevant controversies from Indian fundamentalists, it has a well loaded kitty of multiple awards at reputed International Film Festivals.
Overtly impressed with the film, I very ecstatically recommend to you Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues. With a limited run time of 82 minutes, this film is way better than Disney or Pixar’s extravagant Ratatouille-ish ventures. Beyond time and space, Paley attempts to use her personal story to strike a bond of sisterhood. It’s too wonderful to be missed!