Sunday, August 18

Movie Review: ‘Pitch Perfect’


Universal Studios

Pitch Perfect

Directed by Jason Moore
Gold Circle Films, Universal Pictures


Calling all aspiring artists, shower singers and those who don’t sing at all: “Pitch Perfect” hits a high note for viewers. With a comedic portrayal of the collegiate a cappella world, the movie doesn’t achieve much past a fun time, but nonetheless leaves a likeable impression.

After the Bellas, an all-female collegiate a cappella group, destroy their reputation with an embarrassing performance moment, the group requires intense rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, Beca (Anna Kendrick, “50/50,” “Up in the Air”) enters college wishing she was in Los Angeles pursuing her DJ dreams rather than fulfilling her father’s wishes with a collegiate education. In “Pitch Perfect,” two worlds collide when Beca joins the Bellas and stale tradition is confronted with a new direction and a different key.

The movie isn’t thick with quality content and takes a cheesy comedic approach, but the subject succeeds in overall originality. Many movies already exist regarding solo singing, but “Pitch Perfect” explores uncharted territory with a storyline based around a cappella specifically.

On top of that, the comedic genre gives viewers a less generic perspective of a cappella . As far as laughter goes, “Pitch Perfect” really does deliver with actors who pull off their roles successfully.

Rebel Wilson gives an absolutely fabulous performance in her role as Fat Amy, an endearingly overconfident and strange member of the Barden Bellas, and keeps viewers bursting out laughing almost every time she opens her mouth with her straightforward demeanor and hilarious lines.

Kendrick’s portrayal of Beca is spot-on; she convincingly shows viewers how Beca’s closed-off, almost punk persona takes a different direction when she begins to truly care about what the Bellas are doing.

Her confident, laid-back attitude stays consistent the whole time, and Kendrick shows the right amount of emotion as the movie progresses.

With puns such as “acca-scuse me?,” exaggerated stereotypes of most characters and bizarre lines personifying misfit roles, however, much of the comedy had a corny quality. A few lines intended to be funny felt forced as well, but overall, the comedic elements entertained and induced many moments of chuckling from viewers with crowd-pleasing characterization and funny interactions within scenes.

Between comedic lines and embellished characters, there is no doubt that “Pitch Perfect” takes a lighthearted approach.

The Bellas boast members ranging all the way from Aubrey (Anna Camp), an uptight perfectionist who goes so far as to make team members run laps around the gym at rehearsal, to the extremely quiet Lilly (Hana Mae Lee), who whispers peculiar lines under her breath that keep viewers gleeful and laughing at the absurdity of her words.

However, certain characters were too exaggerated, to the point where they seemed to detract from parts of the movie. For example, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins play two judges watching the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella whose comments are often ridiculous and off-the-wall.

Regardless, “Pitch Perfect” seems to tie all the elements and characters together in an overall fun, high-paced package showcasing the a cappella teams’ journey to the championship. They find that the road paved to the championship involves more than just hard work; there are rivalries among teams and drama to prove it.

For this reason, a cappella chaos surrounds the heavily discouraged arising relationship between Beca and Jesse (Skylar Astin).

Although the characters themselves stand alone well, the chemistry was thin for the first half of the movie between the two. But “Pitch Perfect” has a way of winning viewers over, and by the end of the movie, the match worked.

Behind the quirky characters, the plot develops in an engaging yet predictable way, to the point where viewers wait from almost the beginning of the movie for specific plot-turning events.

Despite the predictability, impressive theatrical moments bolster the storyline. The level of talent truly stands high and the a cappella sets are enough to make viewers want to move their feet in their seats.

“Pitch Perfect” has a whole range of personality that makes the entire film fun from beginning to end. Although the movie doesn’t have a large amount of realistic substance, even for a comedy, a fun storyline and amusing scenes serve their main purpose: to entertain.

- Jenna Maffucci

Email Maffucci at [email protected].

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