Sita Sings the Blues - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sita Sings the Blues Reviews

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½ August 12, 2016
Fun animation that shares this cultural story in an entertaining way.
½ June 12, 2016
creative and poignant animated film about the heartbreaks experienced by a Hindu goddess and a contemporary woman who share the universal pain and sadness that accompany the end of an intimate relationship.
½ April 24, 2016
From what I gather, this is an old india folk tale told through amusing animation, almost Gilliamesque, and narrated by some Indian youths who are trying to remember and interpret the story in their own ways. If it wasn't for the terrible music that pads this film out to a full length film, I reckon I'd have probably enjoyed it.
½ December 28, 2015
Sita Sings the Blues is one of the oddest, and most ambitious animated films ever. What you have here is a movie almost entirely made by one person (Nina Paley) that features no less than 4 different styles of animation. If that wasn't crazy enough this movie also attempts to blend events that occurred in the writers life with events from the Ramayana (an epic tale from India), and the lyrics of jazz music from the 1920s. Just spelling that out sounds utterly nuts, and yet she pulls it off. The animation is unique in all its different styles, and while you'll see the same characters in more than one type of animation, they give each character a distinctive visual trait that carries over so you never lose track of what is going on. Perhaps the hardest part to understand are the scenes from Nina Paley's real life, it took most of the film before I started to connect the dots between the life of Nina and the legend of Sita. Now some may read this and think "Hey, I've never even heard of the Ramayana, how am I going to enjoy this movie?" Well, I hadn't heard of it either until I watched this movie, luckily there is a charming group of narrators who tell the story. They do it in a very fun, conversational style which makes you feel at ease, and keeps it simple to understand.

However my favorite sequences are the moments when Sita breaks into song. These classic jazz/blues songs sung by Annette Hanshaw are simply marvelous, and I'm absolutely amazed by how perfectly they blend into the story. From what I understand, though, these songs are what created a lot of problems for Nina Paley. I'm telling this story 3rd-hand, so forgive any inaccuracies, but I have a very good reason for sharing it, so read on. Apparently, Nina created the film without clearing the rights to the music. When she then tried to license the film she realized there was no way she was going to be able to afford the royalties needed to get these songs in her movie, but they were essential to make the movie work. So, instead of giving up on Sita Sings the Blues, she decided to make it entirely free. By not charging to see it, and in fact sharing it freely for all, she somehow bypassed the requirement to pay royalties. So, I mention that history because what it means is this movie is 100% free to watch. You can view it right now, and I would highly recommend it. This movie is something that almost defies description, but delivers on everything it attempts, in ways I never expected. And let's face it you can't beat the price.
½ December 3, 2015
Beautiful animation, interesting, unique story, and a nice blend of styles. A good amount of humor, too.
November 10, 2015
Pretty cool melding of a bunch of animation styles. I liked the score of (20s or 30s) ragtime blues. My favourite part were the three Indian narrator gods or whatever they were.
October 13, 2015
A lively and slightly mischievous take of epic Ramayana, Sita Sings The Blues plays on feminist, postmodern commentary on the said epic. The personal parallelism of Nina Paley's life also adds another layer to the story.
August 30, 2015
Not particularly entertaining and annoying at some parts.
½ May 8, 2015
While at times seeming a tad flawed by its own eclecticism, this is ultimately overshadowed by multiple moments of unrelenting charm and utter originality. A real treat to watch.
March 23, 2015
This is just my personal opinion: Nina Paley needs to get over herself. This movie was kind of offensive,.. she should go to therapy or something instead of trying to mess with what is to so, very is deeply important and sacred.
I decided to watch Sita Sings the Blues with the hope of seeing a condensed version of the Ramayana. I had low expectations of Nina Paley's attempt at portraying the story yet she still managed to disappoint me. I gave it two stars because it misinforms and pretends to be a portrayal of the Ramayana.
It turned out to be somewhat of a mockery... perhaps in order to deceive others for unjustifiable gain from, for lack of a better term, the "intellectual property" of others.

The actual Ramayana has many great life lessons in it.
Despite that, Nina Paley somehow managed to share not even one life lesson in the film.
She did however make a mockery of things at times. Frankly, I am kind of disgusted by the way she did that. I can kinda see why Nina got dumped...

Also, the singing portions did get a bit tiresome at times. The visuals were sort of offensive. The commentary was also a bit offensive as well as ignorant and isolent.

Why would Ms. Paley even make this a cartoon? Nina Paley is ridiculous. To those who think she did a good job, you should know that while you might've given it positive reviews to be culturally sensitive or something, the movie itself is lacking cultural sensitivity.
Nina Paley needs to slow her role and control herself instead of "making a scene" and spoiling things that are important to people with her personal drama etc. I suspect Nina Paley made the film partially out of misplaced passive aggression and with a lack of regard for the many people's feelings.

There were only maybe one or two things in the movie that I found to be potentially informative. I wish Nina Paley would have done a better job making this film because the Ramayana is a very important story. If Ms. Paley had spent more time focused on telling the story accurately and respectfully instead of trying to make it into a cartoon she could have made quite a contribution to the world. As of now, I think Nina cancelled out any potential good her film could do by what seems to be her being kind of a passive aggressive mocker... (maybe unintentionally). I think Nina Paley seems to have deceived people with this film that pretends to be a representation of the great epic the Ramayana. Maybe she can edit it to actually be respectful to the audience/Indian people/the World; and that would be a big step in the right direction. That and tone down the singing portions and remove all potentially offensive imagery.
December 24, 2014
Billed as "the greatest break-up story ever told", this is the story of Sita and Rama told in different ways, but primarily through love-sick blues. (The basics, according to the movie: Ram is a warrior-prince incarnation of Vishnu who is married to Sita; Sita is stolen by an evil king and desperately wants to get back to Ram, but then he can't trust her virtue after living in another man's house. ) I'm not a fan of blues, but it's so well used here. In fact, mixing the blues with Sita's story is a pretty brilliant cultural mashup. The use of different styles of animation to present different aspects of the story is a nice touch too (even though I didn't actually like all the styles-Sita looks a bit like Betty Boop when she's signing the blues). My favorite part is probably not the coolest part of the film; it's the 3 people trying to remember the story to explain it. They clearly value the story, but they also make fun of it a bit. It's especially amusing to listen to the 2 men interpret the story in a modern context and talk about how Sita should have just moved on because Ram didn't treat her well.
October 18, 2014
I saw and loved it. And I contributed to Nina at her web site. I give it 100%.
July 20, 2014
This is a very interesting mix of four different narrative styles and animation. There's the artwork taken from the Ramayan, the flash animation musical parts with Annette Hanshaw, the shadow puppet narrators, and the crudely animated modern story between Nina and her husband Jon.

I found the artwork that mirrors the Ramayan hilarious, as some of the humour really hits its mark. I found the musical sequences to be kind of tiresome, as well as the modern animated story that parallels the Ramayan.

It is a very ambitious film from one filmmaker, but sometimes the elements don't gel well together. I did enjoy the battle scene and some of the animation, so there's that.
½ July 3, 2014
Among the very few animated movies that I loved :)
½ April 18, 2014
Low-budget animation at its finest. With a fantastic score, comedic tone, and standing both as a critique and a homage to the Hindi Epic it's based on (called the Ramayana), it's definitely worth watching.
April 7, 2014
I liked the Woody Allenesque narration, but the movie is a short film heavily padded into a feature length.
March 15, 2014
Fantastic! Great piece of modern art
February 3, 2014
An incredibly creative flash animation movie that can be enjoyed by anyone.
February 1, 2014
I'm not nearly as familiar with Indian mythology (even less so than the narrators of this film, who provide an interesting commentary on the formation of cultural myths and legends), but I'm pretty sure the central message of this movie is "women are idiots, and nothing without a man" (that fact, combined with its story being stolen from an old epic poem, makes one wonder how Disney never hijacked that train). Sita, as a product of Treta Yugan Indian society, can be forgiven her morbid devotion to her husband, Rama, but her modern parallel Nina, who hails from the considerably more progressive Twenty-First Century San Francisco, is an icon of anti-feminist behaviour (then again, maybe we need to read between the lines: her *San*Fransiscan* husband seems to have no interest in her as a *woman*...).

However, misogyny aside, Sita has three awesome points that make it worth watching: hypnotically eclectic animation, sublime music, and an epic battle between a monkey army and a demon army. I have to believe that if they'd titled this film "Monkey Army vs. Demon Army", it would outgross "Gone With the Wind".
January 2, 2014
i just <3 dis movie..!
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