Sing Is About Toxic Relationships
Garth Jennings’ Sing isn’t just a funny flick about talented anthropomorphic animals.
I watched the movie for my second time this week, in need of a mood lift, and because I made my father-in-law watch it for a writing project (more on that in a few weeks).
For the uninitiated, Sing sees down-on-his-luck theater owner Buster Moon (a Matthew McConaughey-voiced Koala) struggle to save his property from destitution. He opts to hold a signing competition. The contest draws talent from all corners of the animal-filled world of the film.
Sing is a musical comedy, sure. But it’s also a surprisingly deep exploration of toxic relationships.
We meet Rosita, a pig with more than two dozen kids. Rosita’s husband works all day, then crashes on the couch, usually with a plate of Rosita’s homemade meal resting atop his belly.
Then there’s Ash, a powerhouse rock vocalist and guitarist who lives in her egotistical boyfriend’s shadow. The Will Arnett-voiced beau won’t let Ash (Scarlett Johansson) write songs or sing lead.
Johnny the gorilla yearns for his father’s approval to the point where he’ll join in on pops’ criminal schemes.
Mike the mouse—voiced by a crooning Seth MacFarlane—thinks highly of himself. He seeks fame and fortune to woo a silent mouse lady. He falls into a web of lies and gets hunted by a group of burly bears.
Meena the elephant is, for my money, the best of the bunch. Tori Kelly is a vocal juggernaut. She cannot be stopped! Meen, however, stops herself at every corner, inner saboteur curbing every opportunity to make it in music.
Sing’s exploration of interpersonal dynamics and toxic relationships expertly juxtaposes the film’s cutesy flourish. I resonated most with Meena’s struggles this go-around as I work on my own self-image. How long can you bog yourself down with the things you dislike about yourself? It’s important to recognize the good, too, and use that to overcome your weaknesses.
I went into a repeat Sing viewing expecting to throw away 90 minutes and enjoy some musical numbers. Instead, the credits rolled and I turned to my wife to say “Whoa, that holds up.”
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Quick one this week! Catch you next time!