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Sing movie review: tries to hit the high notes, but fails miserably

Aleesha Matharu | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:47 IST

It's clear from the first five minutes of Sing that it isn't going to be anything like the movie you thought it was from watching the trailer - a parody; a sarcastic take on singing contests such as American Idol (which bowed out this year after a long run) and the like, but with animals.

What it is is an absolutely flat tale where you can see the plot coming from a mile away. The voice cast may be top notch, but with a story so boring, the result is just soulless and completely lacking any depth whatsoever. It may have been meant to be comedy, but I can bet you your bottom dollar that you'll only laugh once. That too, barely.

The mediocrity of it is astounding, as though director Garth Jennings knew he had a terrible product on his hands, but still went through the motions. It'll make money at the box office; kids will love it for its constant noise and annoying calculated cuteness. But it's not enough.

It's easy to see why Sing has crammed its run time with classic songs - that's because there's nothing to it other than a terribly pathetic plot. But even most of the songs get cut off at the 30-second mark, which makes it feel like Jennings just kept hitting the next button on his music player without pausing to let anyone enjoy the movie.

Perhaps he forgot that the movie is called Sing.

Matthew McConaughey plays Buster Moon, a koala theatre owner, who has had a bad streak with his venue. Now, with the bank ready to foreclose on his theatre, Moon decides to put on a singing audition competition to attract interest.

Cue a parade of cutesy animals.

Considering that Zootopia made real its anthropomorphic world with great depth, Sing feels even less satisfying because of its simple bubblegum formulaic animation that ticks the boxes and does little else.

Even the characters seem to have been simply assigned animals at random, and never quite take any of their unique species into account. To get an idea of just how haphazard the whole affair is, look at Johnny (Taron Egerton) the gorilla's tale. He's a British-accented gorilla who sounds like Sam Smith and John Legend had a baby, a big dark hulk who's being dragged by his family into a life of crime.

Right. So casual racism is the need of the hour. Thanks 2016, this is exactly what we wished for for Christmas this year.

All this is a crying shame because the vocal talent is quite sensational - McConaughey's drawl makes Moon an affable watch, Seth MacFarlane is perfectly suited to playing a Frank Sinatra-loving mouse, and John C Reilly is perfectly cast as Moon's slacker mate.

But that does not a good movie make. Sing is definitely not king, not by any yardstick. You'll walk feeling like you didn't just waste your money, but your time.

RATING: 1.5 out of 5

First published: 30 December 2016, 3:32 IST
Aleesha Matharu @almatharu

Born in Bihar, raised in Delhi and schooled in Dehradun, Aleesha writes on a range of subjects and worked at The Indian Express before joining Catch as a sub-editor. When not at work you can find her glued to the TV, trying to clear a backlog of shows, or reading her Kindle. Raised on a diet of rock 'n' roll, she's hit occasionally by wanderlust. After an eight-year stint at Welham Girls' School, Delhi University turned out to be an exercise in youthful rebellion before she finally trudged her way to J-school and got the best all-round student award. Now she takes each day as it comes, but isn't an eternal optimist.