7.6/10
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42 user 63 critic

Sita Sings the Blues (2008)

Not Rated | | Animation, Comedy, Fantasy | 12 August 2009 (France)
An animated version of the epic Indian tale of Ramayana set to the 1920s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw.

Director:

Nina Paley

Writers:

Nina Paley, Valmiki (book)
7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview:
Annette Hanshaw Annette Hanshaw ... Sita (singing) (archive sound)
Aseem Chhabra Aseem Chhabra ... Narrator - Shadow Puppet 1 (voice)
Bhavana Nagulapally Bhavana Nagulapally ... Narrator - Shadow Puppet 2 (voice)
Manish Acharya ... Narrator - Shadow Puppet 3 (voice)
Reena Shah ... Sita (voice)
Sanjiv Jhaveri Sanjiv Jhaveri ... Dave / Dasharatha / Ravana / Dhobi / Valmiki (voice)
Pooja Kumar ... Surphanaka (voice)
Debargo Sanyal Debargo Sanyal ... Rama (voice)
Aladdin Ullah Aladdin Ullah ... Mareecha / Hanuman (voice)
Nitya Vidyasagar ... Luv / Kush (voice)
Nina Paley Nina Paley ... Nina (voice)
Deepti Gupta ... Kaikeyi (voice)
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Storyline

The movie is about Sita, the Hindu Goddess from the epic "The Ramayana", who accompanies Lord Rama on a 14 year exile in forest. Sita is abducted by Ravana, the ruler of Lanka. This movie tells the story of Rama and Sita, along-with a biographical account of the director's relationship with her husband. Written by pulkitanand

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 August 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

I sita tragoudaei ta blues See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,619
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The intermission in the movie is a tribute to Bollywood, the Indian Film Industry. See more »

Goofs

The musicians are shown playing with the left and right hands reversed. The clarinet, like all woodwinds, is played with the left hand at the top. The violin is held with the left hand and bowed with the right. But in the movie, the clarinet player has the right hand at the top, and the violin is held with the right and bowed with the left. See more »

Quotes

Rama: Assemble the monkey warriors!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Genetic Engineer - Dr. Michael Purugganan Nanoscale Coordinator - Stefan Zauscher See more »

Connections

References Batman (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Agni Parisha
(Sita's Fire)
Composed and Performed by Todd Michaelsen
Vocals by Reena Shah
Lyrics by Laxmi Shah
Published by Dragon's Lair (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Sita Sings The Blues
14 April 2009 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

Featured in last year's edition of Animation Nation, I finally got a chance to watch this masterpiece by filmmaker Nina Paley when she released it on the Internet under the Creative Commons License. And it is without a doubt that this piece of animation is well worth every minute of your time, especially when the visuals just arrests your attention from the get go, and has some wonderful music and songs by 1920s jazz singer Annette Hanshaw, who provides the titular Sita with her singing voice.

Based on the epic Indian tale of Ramayana, focusing on the love triangle between Rama (voiced by Debargo Sanyal), his virtuous wife Sita (Nina Paley herself), and the adversary in the form of Ravana (Sanjiv Jhaveri) who lusts after Sita and kidnaps her, I have gotten a glimpse of this storyline when it got featured in films such as Swades and the more recent Delhi-6. Essentially the extracts in those film featured how Ravana kidnaps Sita for her beauty, and wanted to make her his wife, only for her to hold out enough for Rama to find them, and to kill Ravana in an ensuing war.

The story here expands that tale a lot more, starting with how Rama got banished from his kingdom by his father the King, and together with Sita, roams a forest until her kidnap, their reunion, and how Rama decided to banish her given his incessant suspicion that she may not have been pure, and got violated. It's a sad love story in a way, and this film provided just enough to pique your interest in wanting to read up more.

It's quite amazing how Paley herself directed this piece of magic, and adopted various animation styles to tell a story, and a musical, and has a separate tale set in the modern day to parallel that of the epic tale. I am speechless by how wonderful the opening credits got designed, fused perfectly with the song playing in the background. Her choice of the Annette Hanshaw tunes were a wonderful touch that fit the story to a T, and this can only be attributed to some astonishing creativity and innovation that Paley had demonstrated, and I can't help but to want more.

The shadow puppet narrators (Aseem Chhabra, Bhavana Nagulapally and Manish Acharya) stole the show each time they're on, as they sound just like your good pals who can't wait to give you the lowdown on what they know about this tragic love triangle. They're hilarious and never at any point felt deliberately so, with that very natural feel about the way they want to tell a story.

I would have loved to experience this in a big screen theatre setting, but I guess that would not come anytime soon. So the next best alternative was to download the highest resolution version available to watch this astounding piece as well as to admire the striking attention to details that Paley so lovingly and respectfully put into the characters. You would do yourself a favour and watch how Sita Sings the Blues, as it's a definite must-watch in my books!


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