Monday, June 6, 2016

Musical Monday - What's Up by 4 Non Blondes

The right music can add so much to filmed fiction. This song isn't particularly nerdy by itself - it is essentially a relatively standard pop anthem dedicated to rebellion and extolling the counterculture. But when placed in this sequence in the series Sense8, it becomes a symbol of the growing connection between the sensates in the cluster at the heart of the story. Without getting too deep into spoiler territory, this scene is the first time we see all of the members of the cluster sharing the same moment - this is more or less when they take their first real step to becoming a unit. We've seen pairs or even trios of sensates work together before this scene, but they've never all been together at once.

It seems fitting that this moment is one of joy, mostly because the series is so frequently such a very dark story. This one moment is experienced by many of the sensates as one of almost unbridled joy: Riley enjoying a sunrise, Sun celebrating in the shower, Capheus behind the wheel, and Wolfgang and Kala sharing a song as part of their budding romance. But it is also bittersweet: Leto contemplates what his relationships might do to his career, and Will has just helped Nomi escape from being imprisoned by the villain Whispers (imprisonment that was aided by Nomi's own mother, who disapproves of Nomi's transition from being Michael to being Nomi). There is a kind of desperate happiness as Nomi sits sheltered in Amanita's arms as they drive away.

This scene has some foreboding too, and that is also part of what makes it brilliant: When Nomi shows up next to Riley, they share a moment, but don't realize that quite soon they will have much more in common with one another than they could ever imagine. We see Sun in her beautiful, huge glass shower in an apartment that is suitably ostentatious enough for the high-powered executive that she is, but know that this will all be taken away from her in the very near future. There are so many layers in this brief sequence, and the song that ties them all together just makes it all work so well.

Previous Musical Monday: Promises by the Cranberries
Subsequent Musical Monday: Nun Fight by Paul & Storm

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