Is Scott Pilgrim a Musical or Not?

Attention all Netflix viewers and Scott Pilgrim fans! The beloved cult classic film, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, is coming to Netflix soon. And with its arrival, the age-old question arises once again: Is Scott Pilgrim a musical or not?

The Director’s Stance

Let’s start with the position of the film’s director, Edgar Wright. He has suggested that the film is not a musical, but rather an “anti-musical” of sorts. Confused yet? Wright explains that in a musical, characters break into song when they can no longer express their emotions through dialogue. In Scott Pilgrim, however, characters break into fights.

Genre-Bending Masterpiece

But let’s be honest, Scott Pilgrim is not your average film. It is a genre-bending masterpiece that operates within several different genres, including rom-com, video game, and comic book adaptation. And yes, it does include musical performances.

A Case for Musical Elements

Some argue that the music in the film does indeed serve a purpose in conveying transcendent emotion from the characters to each other, such as Scott’s acoustic song to Ramona. And let’s not forget the Katayanagi Twins battle, where Scott plays a song to Ramona in the concert audience, while the audience at home witnesses a monster battle between a yeti and two dragons.

The Cynical Side

On the other hand, the vast majority of the diegetic music presented in the film is cynical performances for money and fame. Scott’s band, Sex Bob-Omb, are desperate for attention and any gigs they can get their hands on. The only songs that feel like they come from a point of passion are “Ramona,” which is the emotional crux of the entire movie, and Matthew Patel’s parody number, which is explicitly making fun of musicals.

Conclusion: It’s Both…and Neither

So, is Scott Pilgrim a musical or not? The answer is…both and neither. It defies simple categorization and instead exists in a league of its own. It combines elements of musical theatre with epic fight scenes and witty humour, resulting in a truly unique cinematic experience.

Whether you see it as a musical or an anti-musical, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a must-watch film that continues to captivate audiences with its eccentricities and clever execution.

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