India / USA
'Sita sings the blues' is an animated tale of Ramayana set to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw. Nina Paley, the write and directer, along side the story of Ramayana, we are told slightly of Nina and her relationship troubles and her experience in India with her other half, the almost off subject moments of Nina and Dave seem unrelated, but the small 4 minute pieces show how Nina went from one side of her life to the other in making 'Sita sings the blues'. She has three different styles through the film, one of her- a scribble style, the story of Ramayana which is more of an over pasting on images style of already existing images and a loose structure to the characters and their movement, the final style is of when Sita sings, you know the scene is happening once the style changes, its an easier way of keeping track of what's happening at which point.
The story of Ramayana is a well told Indian tale of gods, love, purity and royalty. Sita sings the blues tells this story in a variety of ways that work well together, as well as the songs that play though out the film, there are also scenes of Sita and Raman playing through the story as well as three character voices that talk about the people in the Ramayana story and discuss what should have happened, the flaws in the story and trying to remember all the names and who's mother is who's son to who's wife,
Nina wanted to tell her story as well as the Ramayana tale, she produced the styles to show these different parts and does it well. The intermission in the movie was a tribute to Bollywood, it stuck with the feeling of a bollywood movie and this is what Nina wanted, though the scenes of her were not bollywood style, they still worked. The switching between scenes is easy to follow but if you don't enjoy the blues scenes I wouldn't recommend it, you don't look forward to them and there are a lot of them, but give the film a chance for its well told story and humorous side to the three story tellers with in the film.