by Thomas Biamonte
As I sat down at the Regal Movie theater in Lynbrook, I realized that I had no clue what I was about to see. The promotion at the theater is called ¨Monday Mystery Movie¨. You pay five dollars to see a random movie without knowing what it’s going to be. The first time I went to this event, I saw a film called The Greatest Beer Run Ever starring Zac Efron in which he plays a man who, on a whim, travels to Vietnam and gives his friends beer while simultaneously experiencing the hells of war. Now, when I tell you the film I saw this time around, Spirited, is the farthest thing possible from that previous plot, I truly mean it.
Spirited is about the lives of the ghosts from Charles Dickens’ famous novella, A Christmas Carol. The film takes the very serious notion of Scrooge facing his past transgressions and his own mortality and turns it on its head by presenting singing and fun-loving ghosts whose job it is to show people their pasts, presents, and futures. This film is a full blown musical, which truly surprised me at first. The songs are really good. My personal favorite was the song ¨Good Afternoon¨ – a song about Victorian era insults and how dumb they were. The dancing and choreography are some of the best parts of the film. They managed to not make dance an afterthought like it is in some movie musicals. Instead, they utilized the dancers in many creative ways throughout the film, such as in one sequence when they use flashlights in droves and make it seem like some other worldly force is present – it was truly impressive.
As for the actors, both Will Farell and Ryan Reynolds were great and had amazing chemistry together. However, I wish Ryan Reynolds would branch away from being the same ¨I’m tough but also sarcastic¨ character he plays in every film since the start of his career. He is a very talented actor and performer (as seen with his wonderful singing and dancing in this film). I know there may be a typecast situation that he cannot control, but it would be a shame if he wasted his acting ability on these one-note roles for the rest of his life.
Finally, as far as the plot goes, it was good but dragged out in many aspects. You know when you watch a film and you think it is about to end yet it keeps going? That happens like three or four times throughout Spirited. Regardless, I still enjoyed the plot. I found it satisfying, but I could absolutely see someone not liking the film because of the slower second half. If you were to ask me if I would recommend this film to you then my answer would be yes. Just know that you are getting into a film that does not take itself too seriously.