Came for the Music, Stayed for the Costumes. First off, let me confess I am not a fan of musicals. Second, I know nothing about dance, contemporary or otherwise. Third, Sia’s music was all but unknown to me. Strangely enough, Sia’s Music captivated me.
The basics: Music is a simple story based upon a short story written by Sia: a woman (Zu-Kate Hudson) cares for her autistic step-sister (Maddie Ziegler) while struggling with her personal demons. The narrative explores pivotal moments with music/dance videos.
So now to the important stuff. The videos are not cliched music videos. They are filled with wonderous costumes (praise be to Christine Wada) – totally reflective of the Sia aesthetic. And what, you might ask, is the Sia aesthetic? It’s a glorious celebration of colour and style coated with loads of substance. It takes the Killing Eve pink dress – who could ever forget that iconic frock? – to its Sia summit: past the black and white wig topped with a ginormous bow to glorious kilometres of tulle and minimalist jumpsuits. You just have to see it.
Now to the dancing part (Sebastian Winter? choreographer). Maddie Ziegler is a marvel – she’s worked with Sia for half a decade now. And it’s difficult to take your eyes off her. In the dance sequences she owns it; remember, she was only 14 years of age at the time of filming. The rest of the dancers are backdrop to her. Interpretive dance can be polarising and at the start it’s difficult for the uninitiated (ie me) not to roll your eyes; after letting go of my old modes of notions of dance, I came to really appreciate the style even if I don’t fully understand it.
Music is emotional; however, the songs are, by and large, surprisingly upbeat. While Sia is best known for her songs of pain, Music opts for catchy almost soft-pop songs with that Sia twist. And there’s even a happy ending.
In all Music is a split personality movie: a simple plot punctuated with complex dance/music videos. I should have known more about Sia beforehand – but I like to go into movies ‘cold’. I recommend her carpool karaoke with James Corden on YouTube as a quickie intro. Music has given me an appreciation of Sia’s aesthetic, Ziegler’s talent, interpretive dance and I’m off to re-watch Killing Eve. And rethink my boring wardrobe.
Music, PG-13, 107 minutes
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