A SEQUEL is a funny thing. We demand it, anticipate it, get our friends together and go off to the movies on opening night to watch it, and are almost always disappointed once we do. The original was just that, original. It’s impossible to recapture the wonder of the audience seeing something fresh and unexpected for the first time. A sequel is set up for failure.
I found Pitch Perfect by accident months after its release in 2012. As a fan of Glee, a female and under 30, I was within its target demographic. It was aca-amazing (yes, I did it) and I made no aca-apologies (yes, I did it again) for loving it.
But Pitch Perfect transcended its target demographic — yes, you 50-year-old man having his morning coffee before suiting up for your respectable office job, I know you loved it too. A sequel became inevitable.
So Pitch Perfect 2 was demanded, and I anticipated it, and I got my friends together and off we went to the movies on opening night to watch it, and … we all loved it.
Pitch Perfect 2, directed by actress Elizabeth Banks, picks up three years after the original and the Barden Bellas, the all-female acapella group, are now in their senior year of college. After a complicated stunt during a performance for Barack Obama results in an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction, the Bellas are kicked out of competitions in the United States circuit.
This suits Beca (the quirky Anna Kendrick), the leader of the Bellas, just fine because she wants to start thinking about life after university and has landed an internship at a record label in her quest to become a music producer. When a German acapella group, Das Sound Machine, takes over the Bellas’ U.S. circuit tour, the Bellas decide to participate in an international competition to regain their status. The only problem is no American acapella group has ever won the competition.
This is a funny movie, and with stars like the self-deprecating Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy and Adam DeVine as Bumper, it is not surprising. The whispering and weird Lily also provides laugh-out-loud moments but the music is the most important part and with bigger numbers and some original songs, it hit the high notes.
Pitch Perfect 2 also takes feminism seriously, challenges stereotypes about women, and is carried by its cast of ethnically diverse females of all shapes and sizes.
The low note is that the plot was a bit flimsy with less character development and interaction. Pitch Perfect set the tone, and Pitch Perfect 2 follows it. It is exactly like the original and that’s exactly what I wanted.
**** Jerusha Behari
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