Why has Australian singing-star Sia’s directorial debut angered the first-world movie buffs? There is an online petition being signed to withdraw the two Golden Globe nominations it has fetched itself for music and leading performance by Kate Hudson. Both richly deserved, if you ask me.
So what seems to be the problem? The autistic character, one of the three protagonists in this heartwarming if somewhat undercooked recipe for instant salvation, is felt by many be insensitively portrayed. Significantly Kate Hudson’s autistic younger sister is played by Maddie Ziegler who is neuro-challenged in real life.
Trust me, if Rain Man were to be made today Dustin Hoffman won’t get to play Raymond.
Having gotten the casting right , what did Music get so wrong? To me from where I see it, this film is not half as awful and offensive as it is being made out to be. Agreed it is not as tender as the tale of two half-sisters one a drug dealer the other autistic getting to know one another belatedly, ought to be.The treatment of the theme is more psychedelic and sentimental and the beast that this film eventually turns out to be is very different from the normal traditional sibling-reunion films.
Music is essentially a celebration of misfits, non-conformists who can’t fit in even if they want to.Besides the two sisters, there is Ebo a boxer (played with feeling by Leslie Odom Junior) who has AIDS and a Korean boy Felix(Beti Calvillo) whose father is hellbent on making his son a “man” no matter it takes.They all somehow watch over the autistic (and artistic) Music and participate in the music videos that she creates in her head.
These characters don’t really come together as much as they suffer together, trying to find a common ground to feel safe wanted and protected.Music celebrates vulnerabilities with lots of colour and music. Though it’s a film about social misfits it is not a downbeat depressing film. Somehow Kate Hudson and her director Sia prod the sunshine awake even when gloom is the prevalent perfume.
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