Soul (spoiler alert!)

With the pandemic and growing political nastiness, 2020 really needed Ted Lasso and Soul. I definitely did. 

Ted Lasso gave us a role model of a kind, uplifting, ever-positive, ego-less person who lights up the lives of people around him (more on Ted Lasso in this post). 

Soul helps us tackle the deep universal question about the meaning of life and finding joys in every day life. Soul deconstructs and models spirituality, similar to what Inside Out does with emotions and memories. Strangely enough, despite tackling a seemingly more complex topic, Soul seems simpler, with fewer concepts, than Inside Out. Maybe that's a lesson in itself about how life is simple, but our emotions aren't. 

If you haven't watched it yet, stop here and watch it! The rest of the post is full of spoilers. 

About half of the movie is set up in "Great Before", where beings (gods?) onboard new souls, assign them a random personality and then match them with a mentor to figure out their "spark". Once they find the spark, they get their Earth pass and get born into earth. And that - life on earth or I guess "Life" - is the focus of the other half. The 'Great Beyond' is never revealed. 

Most of the movie is a dialogue between 22, a cynical unborn soul, who doesn't want to be born, and its assigned mentor, Joe, a passionate soul who doesn't want to die. The cynical soul is constantly dissing the inherent meaninglessness and pain of life, and it'd rather just not live it at all. The passionate soul is obsessed about Jazz and finally gets a chance to perform at a Jazz club - a lucky break that is abruptly snatched away by his unfortunate accidental death. He wants to go back to life to live it up. 

They both stumble back into earth and have their aha realizations. Cynical soul experiences a number of little joys and people who are enjoying life despite challenges. Passionate soul realizes that his obsession with Jazz was making him one-dimensional and overlook the joys of every day life and relationships. The movie also briefly introduces Lost souls, like a Hedge fund trader, who has been sucked into a meaningless job or game. 

We can all relate in some ways to the Cynical, Passionate and Lost souls. Kudos to the crew for boldly taking on a heavy deep, and complex topic, and tackling it with lightness, elegance and simplicity. 

The lesson is simple - life is a gift, live and appreciate every day, don't get cynical, lost or too obsessed.