Updated: Mar 5, 2021
Jalan Ward | Published March 5, 2021
First I would like to say that I am disappointed that it took for me after 2 months to finally watch a movie that has totally changed my life's perspective. Special thanks to a fellow friend who had to fully convince myself that I was not living right, and that I needed to watch this movie. I see exactly why now.
I want to thank the team at Disney who all helped establish a wonderful movie because of two things. The entire theme was catered around the beauty, and soul of Black people. Also the life messages presented itself within the entire film. There were tons of messages to think on, but you may have to re-watch to catch a few more you may have missed.
The movie SOUL is about a guy named Joe, who is a talented piano player and has a true love for jazz. His relatable lifestyle is of an early 40 year old middle school music teacher. You can tell he is missing something in his life as he was granted full-time employment at the school, and was not happy to receive the offer. Joe has other endeavors. To become this amazing jazz player that everyone knows. As you continue to watch Joe's ideal life, you see that there are many things that has held him back from going for his dreams. One of the most relatable scenarios of this is dealing with a mother who wants the best for you, but does not fully understand your dream. It was kind of a sad moment for viewers, and Joe, because he's been chasing this dream for so long to the point that his own mother feels it's time for him to focus on a full-time job.
Thing's turned quick, as Joe receives a call from one of his past students to come play the piano with a known band as a fill-in. That one call turned Joe's dream back into perspective to become a famous jazz player. As he is now happily roaming through the streets of New York City, suddenly, Joe falls into a sewage hole, and dies. Don't feel bad yet, this is where things turn into a great story for the movie. This quick change of events was special, as Joe is now placed in a new world as a ghostly soul. He is now met by other souls in this new unique world. These other souls were mixed of different people from various backgrounds who were happy, depressed, lonely etc. Joe, and other adult souls have been given a task to help young souls find happiness to prepare for Earth. Sounds very complex right? It's pretty simple, if you think of a mentor teaching a mentee to explore, and enjoy life by showing them ways to do so, that young mentee will find ways to engage happily. Joe receives his own young soul to help find their personal "spark" in life that will prepare them for life on Earth. The young soul was named '22', this is a character who is not intrigued by anything. 22 has dealt with numerous mentors to help find their "spark" in life. It never worked out with any of them, '22' even had Muhammad Ali as a mentor which was pretty hilarious. Nonetheless, Joe has a huge challenge on his hands to help reveal that "spark" for 22, while trying to get back into his very own body to attend the jazz gig back in New York.
Joe and 22, has now went through a series of discussions and journeys by this point, they found someone who had magical powers to help them get back on Earth, this did not work out for Joe, he was now a cat, and 22 was in Joe's body. Viewing your own life from another's perspective is very interesting. 22 gave Joe's body personality, people started to like the new charismatic Joe, as 22 was someone who was bubbly, and talkative. The new Joe even convinced his mother for her to believe in his dreams just like his father did who exposed him to jazz. Joe is observing everything; deeply with so many emotions from the cat's perspective. He's even stunned, but at the same time realizing how much life he has wasted not being himself full of happiness, and enjoyment.
There is always an antagonist in every story, and many will say that it was another character who did not want to see Joe come back into his body to get back to life on Earth. I believe the antagonist is Joe himself, the old Joe. Joe was his own enemy. As unintentionally as it was, he was selling himself short of being the best person he could be. Joe and 22 delivered new experiences with the help of each other. 22 found their "spark" in life, which presented so many great messages within. Joe also found his as he got his chance to play with the jazz band after so many years. He finally realized that it was not a life fulfilled desiring to become this famous jazz player.
The messages inside this amazing movie are that you have your own special life worth of living, being open, and happy which is most important. Your soul has multiple complexities, facing sadness, happiness, excitement, nervousness etc. We as Black people have soul, what that means is that we have something within that gives us unique capabilities to be great. We just have to find it. That is what Joe found after all of these years passing, he is now ready to start his life over with a fresh mindset, to live freely with SOUL.
I recommend this movie to any Black household, it is a must see! - Jalan W.