DIR: Garth Jennings, Christophe Lourdelet • WRI: Garth Jennings • PRO: Chris Meledandri, Janet Heal • DOP: Anthony Dod Mantle • ED: Gregory Perler • MUS: Joby Talbot • CAST: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, Nick Kroll, Garth Jennings
Sing is a fantastically colourful, all-out feel-good film to be enjoyed by people of all ages. Following the koala Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) in his final attempt to save his once-grand theatre, a historical building of drama and dreams which has fallen continuously on hard times, Sing confidently provides inspirational family fun without the fear of becoming overly saccharine in its sentiments.
With the help of his forgetful secretary Ms. Crawly (Garth Jennings), and lifetime friend Eddie (John C Reilly), Moon pins his last hopes on a singing competition, offering a thousand dollar prize with the purpose of successfully gaining attention and attracting an audience back to his failing theatre. However, an accident with a computer puts Moon in a sticky situation, as countless animals flock to audition in the hopes of winning the supposed hundred thousand dollar prize. Determined to not let this detail get the best of his plans, Moon goes ahead with auditions, recruiting Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), a pig whose dreams have been placed on the backburner in favour of motherhood, Mike (Seth MacFarlane) a mouse with a Frank Sinatra-esque croon, Ash (Sacrlett Johansson), a porcupine whose talents have been underappreciated by a selfish boyfriend, Johnny (Taron Egerton), a gorilla who wants to sing rather than follow his father’s life of crime, Gunther (Nick Kroll), an enthusiastic pig who becomes Rosita’s partner, and Mina (Tori Kelly), a shy elephant with a beautiful voice who is initially recruited to work back stage. Moon hopes if he can convince Eddie’s grandmother, Miss Nana Noodleman (Jennifer Saunders), an iconic performer from the theatre’s glory days, to attend the performance that she may be convinced to help him out financially, but soon finds his plan in jeopardy as the truth about the prize money comes crashing out.
Though Moon embodies the characteristics of a dishonest show-biz chancer, his passion for theatre and his natural concern for the contestants makes him a caring and empathetic character, and he brings out the best in the singers, offering advice when they’re confident, comforting and supporting them when they feel overwhelmed. Throughout the film, his attentive care is so wholly genuine that, when disaster strikes and it seems like it’s curtains for both Moon and his theatre, rather than turn their backs as one would assume, the gang bands together to ensure that the show goes on, money or no money. This places a refreshing emphasis on trust and support, provoking a message of courage and the importance of believing in yourself without falling back on sickly sweet rhetoric.
Making the most of contemporary pop and established classics, as well as providing its own original tracks, the soundscape of Sing is upbeat and feel-good, with each song connecting with a significant aspect of each character’s life. Paired with colourful imagery, the film brings the exciting and mesmerising atmosphere of a stage musical to the screen.
Whether old or young, a fan of pop or not, Sing is an up-beat spectacle that pushes the triumph of teamwork and the importance of trust, and is undeniably a pleasure to behold.
Sadhbh Ní Bhroin
G (See IFCO for details)
Sing is released 27th January 2017