Music – A Different Perspective
I had originally planned not to see this movie but had heard all the drama going around social media. How Sia was an ableist and shouldn’t be hiring a neurotypical person to play the role of someone with autism when there are plenty of Autistic actors. I continued to hear about it and soon became convinced that I didn’t want to watch it. The movie came out and my father went to see it with my mum, and from their opinions and being autistic myself, I decided to change my mind and actually watch it in the cinema with my best friend for support.
Music, a film directed by Sia and starring Maddie Ziegler, Kate Hudson, and Leslie Odom Jr, follows an autistic girl, called music, and how she affects and changes the lives of the people around her, notably her sister, Zu’s.
Filled with ridiculous dance numbers, which I took to mean how Music was processing the world around her, and scenes that were supposedly serious that came off as bad jokes. I found it to be a movie that left a bad taste in my mouth and if I’m being totally honest, almost made me meltdown, and probably would have if I hadn’t brought someone with me for support.
The film did however have some amazing performances from Beto Calvillo and Leslie Odom Jr, which while not able to save my entire opinion of the movie, at least added enough emotion to make it a watchable movie that some people will probably enjoy.
On the subject of autism, I did at points feel mocked, I may not be as low functioning as what Maddie Ziegler was depicting in her role, but I still feel a tight bond to my fellow autistics who are. It was a hard performance to watch without wanting to start yelling at the cinema screen.
All in all, I don’t think Sia made this movie to help those with autism or even help neurotypical people understand autism, I think she wanted a platform to promote her music and give Maddie Ziegler, an opportunity to be the next Leonardo Di Caprio. But has missed that mark completely.