“As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport.” That spirit-leveling Shakespearean tidbit, delivered by Gloucester in “King Lear,” gets a radical makeover in, of all places, a maniacally existential, animated, supermarket dramedy. Yes, in Sausage Party the same sentiment is explosively rendered by a desperate jar of honey mustard.
The movie, co-directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, is profoundly crude and crudely profound. The setting is Shopwell’s, a massive, suburban food oasis where, every morning, edibles sing their appreciation and pledge their love to the gods.
Their collective goal is to be chosen and purchased by humans, the conduits to the “Great Beyond.” One frankfurter – appropriately named Frank (Seth Rogen, also a co-writer) – has become, despite his being shrink-wrapped in plastic, enamored of Brenda (Kristen Wiig), a bun who’s similarly squished in her own packaging. The burgeoning lovebirds’ mutual hope is to be tossed into a shopping cart together over the Red-White-and-Blue holiday, where bliss will await them. But when a customer returns the mustard (Danny McBride) – which has been in a kitchen long enough to witness food annihilation – the secret’s out: the Promised Land’s a sham.
In equal parts, Sausage Party is a detective story, as Frank seeks out the firewater and Mr. Grits (Craig Robinson) to learn the truth; a commentary on the Middle Eastern conflict through Sammy Bagel, Jr. (Edward Norton) and Lavash (David Krumholtz); the demise of the Native American population; a tale of vengeance, perpetrated by a literal douche (Nick Kroll); and redemption achieved by Barry (Michael Cera), a malformed weiner. The movie is relentless about explicitly addressing sex – both hetero- and same-sex that’s instigated by Teresa the Taco ( Salma Hayek) – visually and through strong dialog.
Sausage Party skewers both entrenched belief systems that rely on absolute Plutonian control, and traditional and formalized religion which is often based on inflexible promulgations which, in this case, are the bailiwick of the non-perishables. The movie suggests that a self-chosen code and faith to live by and personal salvation happen through hope bolstered within the community which, in turn, generates Uranian change.
In the end, “sausage” is just another pronunciation of “so sage.” This gloriously R-rated movie brings it.
Archetype: Self-mastery. Wisdom.
Astrology Archetype: ♅ ♇ (Uranus, Pluto)