Approaching his 18th birthday, David drops out of school and runs away from home and from a conflicting relationship with his mother Elena. The only thing that matters for him is break ...
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Charles Henri Belleville
Approaching his 18th birthday, David drops out of school and runs away from home and from a conflicting relationship with his mother Elena. The only thing that matters for him is break dancing. With his own group, the Urban Cyber Breakers, he has got a dream : To win the dance battle that will bring his team to the world final in New York Before reaching USA and fame, he has to overcome the rival group, the LD, to deal with his mother's excessive love and to live out his passion for the beautiful Samia. Le Défi is a musical comedy, inspired by the great American tradition and set in today's world of France's Hip Hop movement. This very strong cultural identity, different from the US model allows Blanca Li to give an original point of view on today's melting pot of French urban youngsters. Written by
A Fred Astaire aesthetic meets Hip Hop in this movie about a French mother and her son.
This unique film crosses the classic Fred Astaire/Gene Kelly ideas of a musical with hip hop and house music and throws in enough of a plot line to keep things interesting.
Basic storyline rich mom has alienated spoiled son and he has taken to the streets where he feels at home with his `crew' The big dance challenge is coming up and the winning team goes to New York. That spells freedom for the son. It also spells abandonment for the mom and she's got some moves of her own which she's glad to share with the rival dance crew.
Being a former dancer they take her into their crew and she shows them how to weave the classics into their routines while they give her `street cred'. As with any musical you have to suspend disbelief enough to account for folks bursting into dance numbers in the street. But if you like this kind of thing this is an updating of a venerable warhorse of a movie genre.
I especially liked the inventiveness of the scenes where the foreground dancers were photographed separately from the background dancers and then the timelines were tinkered with to add "POP" to the solo work. I'm sure that if Fred or Gene saw this film they'd have loved it but been jealous of what today's technology can do.
The only sour note for me (and this may be strictly me) is actually somewhat close to the best parts for me. There are some dance moves toward the end that are OBVIOUSLY faked (i.e..double sommersault from a standing position and a one finger hand stand). I'm not sure if this was done for humor or what but they actually bothered me a bit. Part of this genre allows for crazily bursting out into song and dance. It even allows for dancing with cartoon animals and hatracks but the live performances are to be appreciated for their talent. Enhancing them digitally this way detracted from my enjoyment.
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