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‘Music’ – Review

‘Music’ – Review

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Multi-award winning singer-songwriter and artist Sia makes her directorial debut with Music, an intimate, imaginative cinematic event that looks at the notions of family and love through a very unique filter, leading to a incredibly creative experience for viewers.

Zu (Kate Hudson) is a free spirit estranged from her family who suddenly finds herself the sole guardian of her half sister, Music (Maddie Ziegler), a teenager on the autism spectrum whose whole world order has been beautifully crafted by her late grandmother.

With a history of addiction issues that have challenged her self-worth and reliability, Zu can barely take care of herself and she struggles with the new responsibilities her sister brings. But Music has the watchful loving eye of her local community, and Zu soon learns that life’s obstacles can be made easier with a little help from their neighbour Ebo (Leslie Odom Jr.).

The musical drama explores the tenuous bonds that hold us together, and imagines a world where those bonds can be strengthened in times of great challenge: love, trust, and being able to be there for each other is everything.

Noted for her extravagant appearance, and innovative, ethereal sound, multi-award-winning musician Sia makes her directorial debut here with Music. And it is a deeply meaningful and imaginative work. Looking in on the unique relationship shared between two half-sisters; one a strung-out, recovering drug addict, and the other an innocent, child-like girl who lives with autism, Music makes for an interesting work from Sia, and you can tell that this project was deeply meaningful to her as a storyteller. Part family drama, part fairytale, Music pulls from both a contemporary mean streets vibe to that of an imaginative, avant-garde bubble-gum children’s book and the result is something entirely unique for audiences.

Deeply interpersonal relationships slide into a fantastical visual pallete, as Sia takes audiences inside the relationship shared between Zu (Kate Hudson) and Music (Maddie Ziegler), and her eccentric artistry makes this one stand out. While both these two sisters live in the real world of Greenwich Village, it’s when Sia takes her audience into Music’s inner mind and her childlike imagination where this film finds its voice. Via the use of pop art, dance, mime, intricate costuming, and an assortment of brand new musical tracks, Sia gives audiences an insight into the mind of someone living autism. This approach to capturing Music’s interaction with the world is very creative on the behalf of Sia and her long time fans will love how she brings the inner world of Music’s mind to life.

From the performance standpoint, Kate Hudson really stands out as Music’s protagonist Zu. Gone is Hudson’s blonde hair and SoCal vibe, and she is instead a buzz-cut, scarred,-up, gutter rat who is basically on her last legs and who has to accept responsibility for her autistic sister’s wellbeing and essentially grow up for the first time in her life. Hudson really steps into the role of Zu in the film, and fully invests herself in this character. You feel her pain, struggle, humour, love and happiness as Zu, throughout this film, and this performance is very much a highlight of Hudson’s career.

For those seeking a film that is equal parts imaginative and emotional, Music delivers something unique, and Sia fans will again fall in love with what is on offer in this new expression of this artist’s voice.

Image: Studio Canal