What’s a Soul, and How Does It Work?

Soul is the latest in a long line of movies that have led me to a self-realization: 

I’m not a fan of movies that prioritize explaining in explicit dialogue how their particular “universe” operates. I’m sure anyone can cite multiple examples of exposition done well, but I generally prefer movies whose modus operandi can be understood only through an interpretation of the entire movie, and how its constructed. Seemingly every scene in Soul includes a line (or more…so many more) that impart information about how Soul’s specific universe works, letting us off the hook in terms of interpreting its exact characteristics for ourselves. Every scene in a movie can change our conception of the entire picture, but that change should be interpretive on our part, based on the ever-evolving depictions presented to us, and not baldly stated to us on a silver platter.

My absolute favorite movies tend to be told in distinct cinematic languages, and making sense of these dialects can be a window into coming up with a macro theory regarding the whole kit and caboodle.

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