Nine Days is a better version of Pixar’s soul
Nine Days may not have Soul’s widespread appeal, but the underrated independent film turns out to be an even more moving portrayal of existence before life.
WARNING: The following article contains a discussion of suicide.
by Pixar Soul was one of the most popular movies of 2020, watched by millions on Disney + and won the Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Music. Nine days, an independent film on the same concept of what happens to souls before birth, also won awards at its film festival, but hardly anyone knows about the release of Sony Pictures Classics. In its first larger outing weekend, Nine days won just $ 232,509 in 443 theaters – for comparison, that’s a quarter of what Pork open to only a hundred more rooms, and less money than the 11th weekend of already streaming A Quiet Place, Part II.
As an R rated adult movie with a slower pace and less feel-good vibe, Nine days obviously couldn’t appeal to such a large audience as people of all ages Soul, but mature viewers who were moved by Pete Docter’s latest Oscar winner should definitely take a look at Edson Oda Nine days. By being able to approach the darker aspects of life more directly, his vision of “the pre-life” proves to be even more powerful than that of Pixar, and it is a film superior to Soul other ways too.
Soul visualizes “The Great Before” as yet another fantastic bureaucracy in the now standard Pixar mold. Personality qualities are attributed to seemingly random souls who attend famous mentor seminars in the hopes of finding the “spark” that will send them to Earth. The smartest aspect of the movie’s supernatural world-building is the revelation that, contrary to Joe’s belief that “the spark” must be a passion or a specific goal, it turns out to be simply any sort of desire to live, something that forces Joe to reconsider his successful worldview.
The pre-life existence shown in Nine days operates on a much more personalized scale, closer to small-scale “neighborhoods” The right place. In a house in a desert, a man named Will and his assistant Kyo subject a group of souls to a nine-day series of tests to determine which of them will be chosen to live. These souls seem to arrive with their personalities already fully formed, which can be arbitrary but at least makes that arbitrariness less distracting than the half-formed nature of Soulbadge system. Unlike the relaxed atmosphere of the school Soul prepares souls for life, Nine daysThe challenges are more competitive, confrontational, and psychologically difficult, which makes the drama more important.
Thematically, Nine days pick up the questions that Soul, by its nature as a PG-rated family movie, couldn’t address: if a desire to live is ultimately what “triggers” a soul into existence, what does it mean when a living person loses his or her? “Spark”? The problems of depression and suicide loom over everything in Nine days – Will is a suicide victim himself, and his previous soul selection ended up in the same circumstances. His selection criteria focus on preparation above all: which souls have the strength to go through a war or a concentration camp? The film suggests that if you are alive you can go through anything and that lost sparks can be rekindled, while still being completely sympathetic to those for whom the struggle seems too difficult.
Soul received praise for being Pixar’s first film about a black man, but also critics for placing this black man in other bodies for most of his execution, first as a disembodied soul and then as a cat at 22, a technically aracial soul voiced by white female Tina Fey, requisitioned her original body. Nine days lets his black stars, Winston Duke as Will and Zazie Beetz as Emma, remain in their own bodies for the duration of the film. Those who care about diversity in cinema will certainly find a lot to appreciate Nine days, which is written and directed by the first Japanese-Brazilian filmmaker Edson Oda.
For everyone Soulpositive qualities of, especially his portrayal of Joe’s midlife crisis in the human world, his larger metaphysical storyline just doesn’t dig as deep as Nine days Is. Whether you can safely see it in the cinema or prefer to wait to see it on VOD, Nine days deserves a lot more publicity than it has received and is billed as one of the best films of 2021 to date.
Nine Days is now playing in theaters.
For more information on warning signs and suicide prevention, Click here. If you or someone you know is emotionally distressed or considering suicide, call National lifeline for suicide prevention at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you live outside of the United States, Click here for a list of international hotlines.
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