Song of the Day #5,002: ‘Joyride’ – Roxette

Continuing the countdown of my favorite 2021 movies…

Best Films of 2021
#9 – Flee

Nominated for an historic trifecta of Oscars — Animated Film, Foreign Film, and Documentary — director Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee is unlike anything I’ve seen before.

The film chronicles the troubled childhood of Amin (an alias), who fled both Afghanistan and Russia to escape a round robin of authoritarian regimes. Amin is telling his story for the first time, encouraged by his friend of 20+ years.

Amin remains concerned about the ramifications of his story, and he’s a deeply private man, so Rasmussen granted him anonymity by telling the story through animation. The result is photo-realistic animation of Amin speaking to the camera and living his present-day life, but also animated recreations of episodes from his childhood.

Acted-out recreations are generally a crass way to convey information in a documentary, but rendered in animation they become as ethereal and beautiful as memories.

Even more effective are the moments where Amin recalls a specific trauma and the animation style becomes more abstract and surreal, putting us inside his swirling emotions.

Flee is a triumph of form, but it is also a powerful piece of storytelling. Amin had the added burden of being a young gay man in a culture that didn’t acknowledge homosexuality as legitimate, and we see him coming to terms with those emotions even as he fights to stay alive.

Because of his life of displacement and distrust, Amin has trouble settling down, causing a strain on the relationship with his Danish fiancé. Flee starts as a chronicle of childhood trauma, but it is ultimately the story of a man who has never stopped running finally learning the meaning of home.

[Verse 1]
I hit the road out of nowhere
I had to jump in my car
And be a rider in a love game
Following the stars

Don’t need a book of wisdom
I get no money talk at all

[Verse 2]
She has a train going downtown
She’s got a club on the moon
And she’s telling all her secrets
In a wonderful balloon

She’s the heart of the funfair
She’s got me whistling a private tune
[Pre-Chorus 1]
And it all begins where it ends
And she’s all mine, my magic friend

She says, “Hello, you fool, I love you
C’mon join the joyride.”
Join the joyride

[Verse 3]
She’s a flower, I could paint her
She’s a child of the sun
We’re a part of this together
Could never turn around and run

Don’t need no fortune teller
To know where my lucky love belongs, whoa no

[Pre-Chorus 2]
Cause it all begins again when it ends, yeah
And we’re all magic friends (magic friends, magic friends)

She says, “Hello, you fool, I love you
C’mon join the joyride.”
Join the joyride
She says, “Hello, you fool, I love you
C’mon join the joyride.”
Be a joyrider, ow

[Instrumental Interlude]

I’ll take you on a sky ride
I’m feeling like I’m spellbound
The sunshine is a lady
Who rocks you like a baby

She says, “Hello (hello) you fool (you fool) I love you (I love you)
C’mon join the joyride.”
Join the joyride

Hello, you fool, I love you
C’mon join the joyride
Join the joyride

Hello, hello, you fool, I love you
C’mon, c’mon join the joyride
Be a joyrider

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,002: ‘Joyride’ – Roxette

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    We need to see this one before Oscar night.

  2. Peg says:

    Sounds interesting will try to see it at some point

  3. Amy says:

    We watched this film last night. I finally caved and agreed to watch the “dubbed” version where executive producers Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Riz Ahmed voice the two central “characters,” the documentarian and his subject Amin. 10 minutes in, I was thrilled with that decision as all other recollections were in their original language and subtitled, and Ahmed’s commitment to voicing Amin’s insecurities, love, regret, and fears was obvious in every syllable he uttered.

    What a special film. It doesn’t quite feel like a “true” documentary, so I can’t say I want it to win over “Summer of Soul,” and I haven’t seen the other foreign films, but I can’t see it taking home that trophy over “Drive My Car.” Still, it has to be awarded something on Oscar night to mark its historic nominations. At the moment, I’m feeling relatively positive about awarding the “Amy” for best animated feature to Flee.

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