University, acapella music, chick flick. Just three things that this film is completely revolved around. And if you hate all three, don’t watch it. Or if you just hate one, it might not be a good idea. Even if it is great. Yes, this film is very much based round music, but I would say it’s a musical, they don’t burst into song about every feeling or realisation they have. Don’t get me wrong, I love a musical just as much as the next, but this film is definitely not one so don’t go into the film thinking it is. All they do is travel round the country “making music just from our mouths” in competitions. That’s all. It’s singing in competitions.
One of the great things I love about this film is that they use such a range of music. Yeah there is a repeat of the same three songs repeatedly in this film, but it goes with the plot and they’re slightly different each time to make it less repetitive, even if they’re actually not supposed to be changed, but trust me, changed for the better. Although, the many other songs in ‘Pitch Perfect’ jump from Pitbull, to Jessie J, David Guetta, Rihanna, to Bruno Mars, Madonna, B.o.B, to Simple Minds. Ok so not that much of a jump round, the majority are quite poppy songs, but they’re not all by the same artist is what I meant and there is still some variety, and I think they’re pretty good songs anyway. Judge all you want, but everyone must like at least one song they sing. Surely? Maybe not. Well still… You like these sorts of songs with a bit of mashups, then give this film a watch, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
Anyway, ‘Pitch Perfect’ is based around an acapella group called the Barden Bellas at Barden University, as they try and reach Lincoln Centre in New York City to return to the finals for the acapella singing competition, in order to try and regain their failure from the year before. This failure is shown very graphically in the first couple of minutes in the film, pretty disastrous. The leaders of this group are Aubrey (Anna Camp) and Chloe (Brittany Snow – from the classic ‘John Tucker Must Die’). The main people that join them is hilarious Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), a girl who is, to say the least, a bit obsessed with sex, Stacie (Alexis Knapp), quiet Lily (Hana Mae Lee), Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean), and more reluctantly the main protagonist, Beca (Anna Kendrick), who Aubrey sees as too “alternative” and really dislikes, whereas Chloe is more open to the new people including Beca. Aubrey is stuck in the past and unable to turn away from tradition, which doesn’t go so well for her, but Chloe is more open to change, however she’s more ignored. The Barden Bellas competition is the Treblemakers, also from the same university, but are much more popular by the commentators, John (John Michael Higgins) and Gail (Elizabeth Banks – of course brilliant, such as her in ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Scrubs’), than the Bellas. The main people in the Treblemakers is front man, Bumper (Adam Devine), rapper Donald (Utkarsh Ambudkar) and the main guy Jesse (Skylar Astin). Of course there are others, but they don’t talk much and I have no idea what their names are. Sadly, Jesse’s ‘Star Wars’ crazy roommate, Benji (Ben Platt), doesn’t get in. The film follows most significantly the Bellas as they obey Aubrey’s strict rules and closed mind, which of course leads to many issues.
Another element of the film, moving away from the music side, is the chick flick. This is revolved around the loveable character Jesse, and his many attempts to make the very closed-off Beca smile. Which personally for a chick flick lover, is adorable. It’s one of those things that girls gush over in films, and Jesse plays it perfectly. Besides in a chick flick you’ve always got to have that one guy that the female audience love, Jesse is this instance. I don’t want to ruin it, but I think it’s an obvious ending for everyone watching. Sorry. But that definitely doesn’t make it bad! Beca meets Jesse as they happen to both get a job stacking CDs at the radio station, it’s here that Jesse continuously tries to flirt with Beca, but she shuts him down as she does with everyone. Of course, a catastrophe in a wannabe relationship…
‘Pitch Perfect’ is hilarious. I have to mention Rebel Wilson’s character, with her many hilarious one-liners that are just brilliant and make the film so much better. Without Rebel Wilson, this film wouldn’t have been near as funny, she truly does have an excellent character. Another funny character is the strangest things that Lily says when she’s actually heard, they are so weird that you just have to laugh. Anna Kendrick as Beca is also brilliant with her snarky comments back at Aubrey; or Aubrey’s strict attitude becomes cleverly amusing. I feel like this was one of the first films where Anna Kendrick has become more popular and well-known, with her being in films such as ‘Into the Woods’, ‘The Voices’ and ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’. Also, to add to the humour is the commentators of the competition, John and Gail, even if slightly rude, they are hilarious. This is probably where I should mention that this film does swear and has many sex references, and some drug references. It’s a 12 for a reason, but it’s not outrageous, it is only a 12. Anyway, it has some great scenes, one of the best being the riff-off. As Beca is new to the whole acapella world, the audience cleverly learns along with her, as the audience is probably a bit clueless before this film anyway. Back to the riff-off, it’s a great scene of a mix of ‘Ladies of the 80’s’ songs and ‘Songs about sex’, where Barden acapella groups compete and bounce songs off each other in order to sing a song in the certain category. This just shows how much this film is revolved around music, but trust me, it’s hard to explain, but it’s much better than it sounds. Unless you hate poppy music, like I’ve said before; not your film.
Overall, as you can probably tell I would recommend this film a hundred times over. It’s a different film from so many others and I think it’s just a great comedy to enjoy. But going back to what I said at the start if you really dislike university based films, acapella music or chick flicks then I’d say it’s a no go. But they put a new spin onto the film to blend all the elements to make a truly great film.
If you enjoyed this review, there is of course a review on the second film, ‘Pitch Perfect 2’.