Review: Sing Song (2017)


Sing Song (2017)

Directed by: Mischa Kamp | 96 minutes | family, musical | Actors: Georgiefa Boomdijk, Darren Benschop, Floris Bosma, Tyra Koning, Glen Faria, Liesbeth Peroti, Maurits Delchot, Kenneth Bron, Borger Breeveld, Jane Dasman, Ferranto Dongor, Serjay Gefferie, Rolinzo Huur, Chavelli Monsanto, Klenda Rensch, Jamie Tjong- Ahin, Destiny van Aerde, Amani Verwey, Charissa Vliese, Jaleeza Weibolt

A dream of 16-year-old Jasmine (Georgiefa Boomdijk) comes true when she auditions with guitarist and good friend Stijn (Floris Bosma) and is selected to participate in a singing competition in Suriname. “Su” is the country where Jasmine was born, yet she does not know the country and the culture because she moved to the Netherlands with her father at a very young age. Papa Winston (Maurits Delchot) seems to have banned everything that has to do with Suriname from his life, with the result that Jasmine hides the musical trip from her father. Although Jasmine can sing beautifully, her focus is not entirely on (winning) the singing competition. Without anyone knowing about it, Jasmine has very different desires and the search for her mother Grace (Jaleeza Weibolt) is the real reason why she would love to visit Suriname. Jasmine’s secret mission to learn more about her roots kicks off as soon as she arrives in her “switi” homeland, with all kinds of melodic and hopeful adventures ahead.

By making a music film, a wish of director Mischa Kamp, known for ‘Het Paard van Sinterklaas’ (2005) and ‘Boys’ (2014), has been fulfilled. By making full use of young musical talents, she has given the whole thing a rhythmic jacket and the end result is a pleasant film. Just like Jasmine, the viewer is introduced (for the first time) to the Surinamese culture and you cannot avoid the bright colours, exotic environment, the cheerful mix of music styles and a few Sranan words. The thematic representation of looking for – and accepting – who you actually are is portrayed in a striking way. ‘Sing Song’ subtly informs the viewer that the choices you make in life and how much you value honesty and friendship, contribute to who you are as a person. That is what Jasmine struggles with and will be recognizable for many (adolescent) young people.

The young actors in ‘Sing Song’ have rightly been given the opportunity and space to show their most musical side. In the case of some actors, the acting is not always that strong, but the golden throat of Georgiefa Boomdijk, known for her participation in The Voice Kids in 2014, more than makes up for this. While singing (and swinging) she knows how to convey the right feeling to the viewer and she seems to feel very comfortable in the role of singing talent Jasmine. Floris Bosma has managed to create a sympathetic character with his portrayal of Stijn and he offers sufficient support to his fellow players with his guitar playing.

The title of the film is not super original but emphasizes what ‘Sing Song’ mainly consists of: “poku” (music). Spoken and sung texts constantly alternate and connect seamlessly. As the director herself also indicates, the songs form an additional narrative style and bring all the story elements together. In addition to the catchy melodies, it is especially the creative and meaningful lyrics that make a major contribution to the content of the story and at the same time confirm a certain atmosphere or mood. There is a chance that several songs will live on (or even become popular) after seeing ‘Sing Song’, a summery and fun but above all musical youth film.

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