A foot-tapping delight: Sing review by Rashid Irani
Direction: Garth Jennings
Voices: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Close on the heels of the markedly superior La La Land comes another song-and-dance extravaganza, albeit animated and in 3D, and featuring a cast made up entirely of cuddly animals.
The American Idol-like plot zeroes in on a down-on-his-luck koala bear (voiced in cheerful tones by Matthew McConaughey), whose theatre has fallen on hard times. In a last-ditch effort to save it, he decides to host a singing competition, accidentally inflating the prize on offer to $100,000.
Not surprisingly, every aspiring vocalist in town turns up for the auditions, including a domesticated sow and mother of 25 (Reese Witherspoon); a mousy crooner (Seth MacFarlane); a punk-rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) and a gorilla pianist torn between his showbiz dreams and his family’s criminal activities (Taron Egerton).
Also hoping to achieve fame and fortune are a meek but musically inclined elephant (real-life singer Tori Kelly) and a porcine techno-rave dancer (Nick Kroll).
The film is brimming with familiar chart-toppers. Besides an original pop-rock number, ‘Set it all free’, belted out by Scarlett Johansson, expect renditions of Leonard Cohen’s popular hymn, ‘Hallelujah’ and David Bowie’s ‘Under pressure’, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Don’t you worry about a thing’ to Elton John’s ‘I’m still standing’.
The menagerie is drawn with breathtaking photo-realism and British director Garth Jennings, best known for his quirky live-action comedy Son of Rambow (2007), creates a very human subtext in the animals’ determination and optimism. He also amusingly voices the koala bear’s elderly secretary, a one-eyed chameleon.
Of appeal to viewers of all ages, Sing is an apt way for fun-loving families to usher in the New Year.
Watch the trailer for Sing here