Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"Take the Lead": A Movie Review

Call me a "suckah!" for a flick about urban youth doing some hot arts (or athletic) thing and finding themselves in the lime light, with the sweet old taste of success in their soul as they compete in a new or different setting.


That's the skinny on this film I watched on HBO tonight. I know, I know, this movie is a year old, but I'm s-l-o-w, as I am just now seeing it, and recommending it here.

"Take the Lead" is a film set in New York City featuring a ballroom dancing program that ignites the "detention crew" --taking the youth out of their club scene element and comfort zone to perform on a dance floor before a full orchestra and judges.

Yeah. It's in the spirit of MTV's "Save the Last Dance"; "Drumline"; this Winter's "Freedom Writers" (about teen writers); and a real recent movie I got free preview tix for: "Pride" (about swimmers.) Oh. Wait. If I'm going to be "Melissa-generation-appropriate" about this, I can't not mention "Dirty Dancing." Yeah. Shoot. This movie has got that feel to it at times. Just not set in the Adirondacks with all white people in the 1950's. In fact, the setting of this movie is the exact opposite, BUT has that element of dance turned on it's ear.

(Watching it, I have to admit, I wondered if my dance teacher friends in Minneapolis had seen it? Ms. Colleen Callahan, Roberta Carvalho-Puzon, April Sellers, or Pamela Plagge?!? Holla if so! North High? Southwest? Ramsey? Sheridan?! Hay!)

Anyway, as I was saying, all these sorts of films tickle my fancy. This movie, featuring one Antonio Banderas, and then a slew of young (adult) performers, has some zinger ideas and lines, too, which make a case for the arts in schools, as well as in our lives. Plus, Banderas as the teacher man makes some sweet analogies to our lives, breaking down some notions that seem so COMPLEX for humans, especially those wanting to be in control all the time. (This is NOT me! I write with a tad of sarcasm.)

Here are some doozies, that I think can appeal to almost anyone, of any age - given the right context:
"To follow takes as much strength as to lead."

I had to write that one down immediately. Then wonder, "What would Sun Tzu have to say about that? Does this come up anywhere in "The Art of War?"

"If she's allowing me to lead, she is trusting me; but more than that, she's trusting herself. "

And then, there's this one, that's speaking to my romantic sucker heart. (So sorry, it's just where I'm at this moment in time):

"You have an opportunity not to dominate her, but take her on a journey."

I can say that I like this movie very much. Why? It took me on a journey: Through my limbs, my brain, my body, and my heart.

Again, I end as I began, admitting I'm a suckah! for this kind of flick.

Peace out!
Melissa B
Queen Mab Contemplates

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