Sunday, 26 April 2009

How She Move * (For The Crawley Observer)

It doesn't bode well that even the title of the film is annoying, the problem being that you automatically want to add an 's' to the end of Move, and being one of the competitors for Step Up 2: The Streets, How She Move simply doesn't cut it to be as successful as the first Step Up.

It becomes almost painful to watch as the lead character Raya (played by Rutina Wesley) experiences so many personal traumas in her life that in order for her to escape it the inevitable much happen.
You quickly become distanced from the film because, although intending to represent the fighting ambition that Raya has, it all gets a bit too much with her sister dying from drug abuse, her dad walking out on her family and then rejection from her own community, the only place she feels comfortable. It's a very intense film to say the least and the fact that it is being produced in a documentary style makes it seem all the more harder to bear.

In addition with the film being based around dance, the visual approach to the competitions and the rehearsals of the moves aren't that exciting either. As the film slowly builds up to the actual moment of the dancing, it brings with it an anticlimax as, unlike other dance films such as Dirty Dancing, you don't feel the urge to leap out of your seat and copy the dance moves.
Although being physically impressive, particularly in the last scenes of the final 'dance off' where very original and strenuous looking moves are acted out, the cinematography means you miss most of the good stuff so that all you're left with is one or two impressive moves mixed in with a couple of twirls and a few reaction shots.

Annmarie Morais who wrote the film has clearly tried to put as much emotion into it as possible. However because of her desire to create a drama out of a dance film it becomes quite depressing to watch. You don't feel a link with any of the characters because for one, the relationships seem quite false. Two, even the lead character is dislikeable due to her betraying nature. And three, there are no characters with defined personalities; they all appear to be so complex that they become confusing to understand and therefore difficult to identify with.

I am sure that this film will transfer much better to DVD as the whole experience of watching it on your TV's won't make it as intense as going to see it in the cinema. There is one redeeming factor, if you're not into the storyline you could always go for the soundtrack. MTV helped produce the film so at least the choices of songs are worth listening to. With the music (which I have to admit sometimes has the tendency to be a bit in your face) the film would have no drive or appeal to it.

So if you're into urban genres of music, as least that will give you a reason to go and see this film.

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