Sita Sings the Blues Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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".