‘Soul’ leaves audience fascinated

Have you ever wondered where your personality, interests, passion, dreams and more come from? The movie “Soul” takes you on a journey from the streets of New York to heavenly realms to discover what makes you, you.

The 2020 film is about Joe, who, like his father, wants to pursue jazz. He makes a living by teaching middle school music while chasing after gigs. His mother worries about his future. A full-time job and a chance to sit in with a band led by an A-list saxophonist, Dorothea Williams, arrive on the same day, which turns out to be the last day of Joe’s life. Sort of. When he finally got his big break, he fell down a manhole and went into a coma.

Not wanting his life to be over when he just got his big break, he refuses to go to the Great Beyond and instead goes to the Great Before, also known as the “You Seminar,” where he volunteers to mentor 22, a young soul with a dim view of life, and help her find her spark.

Joe and 22 end up returning to Earth; however, 22 ends up in Joe’s body, while Joe ends up in a cat. Later on, while 22 is eating pizza, they run into Dorothea Williams, and Joe forces 22 into a taxi. Back at Joe’s house, one of Joe’s students, Connie, rings the doorbell. She told Joe she wanted to quit, but she still wanted to play another song. 22 then discovers that life on Earth is not so bad. After Connie leaves, Joe made 22 shave, though it went wrong. They then go to Dez, hoping he will be able to fix it. While Dez attempts to fix Joe’s hair, 22 discovers the joy of life, but they are eventually caught by Terry, an accountant whose job is to count the souls who go on to the Great Beyond.

At this time, 22 has earned her Earth Badge that allows her to go down to Earth to be born as a human; however, Joe tells her that he earned the badge. Angry, 22 throws her badge at him and ventures off into the zone. Joe learns from a Jerry, the people who run the “You Seminar,” that instead of a life’s purpose, a spark simply means that a soul is ready to live on Earth.

Joe then gets to return to Earth and successfully play with Dorothea and her band, but he doesn’t feel right about what happened with 22. After performing, Joe explains to Dorothea that he thought performing would feel different than what happened. Dorothea responds with a story about two fish.

When Joe returns home, he begins playing the piano with the items 22 collected in Joe’s body down on Earth. As he plays, he enters the zone, where he encounters Moonwind, a character who helps lost souls return to their human bodies. Joe explains to Moonwind that he needs to apologize to 22 about what happened; Moonwind tells Joe that 22 has become a lost soul. Joe tries to intervene by trying to return her Earth Pass back, but this only makes it worse.

22’s lost soul eventually eats Joe, and he finds himself inside trying to reach out to her, but he is then stopped to recreations of her past mentors, which couldn’t help 22 find her spark including himself. Joe finds a maple leaf that 22 was amazed by on earth that finally makes her happy and breaking free from her self-loathing.

As 22 jumps into the Earth portal, Joe holds her hand while falling down to Earth, knowing that eventually he will get sucked back up into the Great Before. At the end, Joe is finally about to enter the Great Beyond when Jerry encounters him to explain that he inspired all the Jerrys in the You Seminar, and they want to reward him with another chance on Earth. Joe enters the portal to Earth, knowing that he is going to live every minute of his life to the fullest.

I would definitely recommend this movie to all ages, it is full of laughter and happiness, and it sends a beautiful message of slowing down and enjoying the little moments in everyday life.