Sita Sings the Blues

2008

Sita Sings the Blues

Critics Consensus

A tour de force for filmmaker Nina Paley, Sita Sings the Blues gives the Ramayana its animated due with a visually vibrant, dazzlingly imaginative triumph.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 32

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,929
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Sita Sings the Blues Photos

Movie Info

In the Indian legend, Sita is given to Prince Rama in marriage after Rama conquers the other princely suitors for her hand. No sooner is Rama appointed crown prince than he falls victim of a plot that sends him into banishment for fourteen years. Sita accompanies her husband, but is abducted shortly afterwards. With the aid of friendly gods, Rama sets off in pursuit and, following a dangerous struggle, succeeds in freeing her. Rama and Sita return to their home where Rama is made king. But soon after this Rama begins to doubt his wife's fidelity and casts her out. Sita undergoes a fire test to prove her steadfastness, survives unscathed and returns to Rama.

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Cast

Deepti Gupta
as Kaikeyi
Pooja Kumar
as Surphanaka
Aseem Chhabra
as Shadow Puppet #1
Bhavana Nagulapally
as Shadow Puppet #2
Manish Acharya
as Shadow Puppet #3
Sanjiv Jhaveri
as Dave:Dasharatha:Ravana:Dhobi:Valmiki
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Critic Reviews for Sita Sings the Blues

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (9)

  • Charming indie animated film that doesn't insult anyone's intelligence.

    Dec 31, 2009
  • And the ingenuity of Sita -- which evokes painting, collage, underground comic books, Mumbai musicals and "Yellow Submarine" (for starters) - is dazzling. Not busy, or overwhelming, or eye-popping. Just affecting, surprising and a lot of fun.

    Dec 28, 2009 | Rating: 4/5
  • Paley's beguiling, consistently inventive visuals and sly yet melancholy tone are about as warm and winning as heartbreak-fueled empowerment gets.

    Dec 23, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Nina Paley's animated marvel mixes a personal tale of romantic woe with a fabulous, often hilarious, recounting of the Sanskrit epic fable The Ramayana.

    Jun 26, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • Captivating, mesmerizing, spellbinding -- I'll throw everything in the movie-critic book at this animated feature by Nina Paley

    Jun 26, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Nina Paley's delicious Sita Sings the Blues finds solace in autobiography and an animated gold mine in the caverns of an ancient Sanskrit epic.

    May 29, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4

Audience Reviews for Sita Sings the Blues

  • Jul 16, 2013
    I am sorry, Nina Paley, but you're arrogant. Predominantly an exercise in style, <i>Sita Sings the Blues</i> is, at the end of the day, a mockery towards a fruitful Indian tale about gender equality and justice. Combining animation styles with immature purposes of speculation and commentary biased towards the perspective of women rather than discussing the societal and cultural backgrounds surrounding the epic Indian story, the film constantly shifts from a randomly placed discussion about the events of the story as an improvised "documentary" interview to a biographical portrait of Nina regarding her relationship with her husband, and uses the entire animated feature as a vehicle for not only empathizing with Sita, but also comparing her situation with her own! Not only that is uncalled for, but the contemporary setting was a terrible decision of a story filler that made no worthy contribution to the "discussion" about the epic whatsoever. Yet, I cannot stop recommending the film. Nina Paley just wasted a good arsenal of creative personal potential because it fell into the wrong material. This film should not exist. It should exist differently. The lack of financial means along with some interesting animation sequences and solid ideas of style transitions signal positive hope for a talented female artist in a world ruled by men mentality. Or at least that's what she would state, which would be a true biased statement. From a visual and musical perspective, <i>Sita Sings the Blues</i> is a technical success. Sita is Annette Hanshaw. Why? Because Nina implied that the story of Sita has been present in contemporary story, and the musical inspiration she found was Hanshaw. The film would not work the same way without her, but that's the problem, you see? Hanshaw's spirit should have been revived in an entirely different story, paying proper respect to the sacred ancient tales and using her strong pro-women position through alternative means, no matter if she used in the film open references to maybe the greatest animation film of all times, <i>The Adventures of Prince Achmed</i> (1926). But she used those references. More than once. 66/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 17, 2012
    In the 14th century(almost definitely B.C.), Rama is in line for the throne. But that is derailed by a promise by the current king that causes Rama to be exiled for 14 years. His true love, Sita, joins him in exile. Not soon after, she is kidnapped by Ravana. In modern day San Francisco, Nina and Dave live a life of contentment together with their cat. One day, he gets a six-month job offer in India which he accepts. "Sita Sings the Blues" is a mesmerizing and immensely entertaining movie that mixes a wide variety of animation styles in the service of the neat trick of pulling the epic Ramayana(which sounds familiar) into the modern day by injecting it alongside a possibly autobiographical storyline. Plus, we get commentary on the ancient text that is as playful as it is thought provoking. Even the intermission is fun. And then there are the blues songs which fit into the narrative perfectly, all in a positively feminist way.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 13, 2011
    The Ramayana epic is disturbing but this film is outstanding. Nina Paley made most of this film on a laptop. The execution is brilliant. Her use of various styles of animation and her musical decisions alone make this a must see. Don't miss this one.
    Morris N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 08, 2010
    First things first: this is an animated film released under the CC-SA license, which basically means its free. It can be downloaded or watched at http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/watch.html Its perhaps the funniest cinematic adaptation of the Ramayana. The opening scenes are totally hilarious and with tongue firmly on cheek, the film is.. let's say irreverent towards Rama. The narrators themselves are shown to be not highly knowledgeable of Ramayana, and that in fact adds to the fun. Its a film from a feminist viewpoint and Rama is the err.. villain. Created by Nina Paley, the film also tells her breakup story along with Sita's. It's essentially a musical featuring lots of jazz numbers, and towards the end they just keep on coming, making the film drag a bit. A great attempt nevertheless.
    Anoop K Super Reviewer

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