The real story of a dance teacher who believed in the talent of a group of problem kids.The real story of a dance teacher who believed in the talent of a group of problem kids.The real story of a dance teacher who believed in the talent of a group of problem kids.
So yeah, tons of eye candy for fans of Antonio. Dim the lights, strap on your dancing shoes, or whatever else you care to strap on (I don't even know what that means) and enjoy the film.
The movie itself is an entertaining blend of gritty realism, fantasy dance, cute comedy and every highschool-misfits-enter-a-competition movie ever made. Much of it is predictable, but it packs enough pirouettes to surprise the audience once in a while. Included in this mostly-tame story are bits of crime, violence, domestic abuse and attempted rape which are convincingly done, due to the excellent acting by these mostly-unknown young actors.
If you don't know, "Take the Lead" is based on the true story of Pierre Dulaine, a dance instructor who decided to take on some of the roughest schools in NYC by teaching ballroom. Much of the film is dramatized, several bits are outright manufactured, but it more or less stays true to the spirit of Pierre's work. I wish it had expounded more on the philosophy behind the method (which is beautifully explained in Antonio's monologue to the angry parents), but we still get the gist.
I've read a few reviews and message board comments from people who were infuriated by the ending spectacle, and all I can say is yeah they have a point, but hey this is a movie folks. It's supposed to have some pizazz. I suppose it's the extreme blending of realism and dancing that causes the conflict. If you can go with the flow, I think you'll find it to be a fun and worthwhile flick.
If you like this sort of story (highschool-misfits-enter-a-competition), I highly recommend the Japanese flick "Swing Girls" about a bunch of nerds trying to learn jazz. On the wacky side is "Kickin It Old Skool" about a bunch of middle aged nerds who never left the 80s trying to win a dance contest. There's a million of em but they never get old, do they? "Take the Lead" is more on the serious side than the others, but hey... it has Antonio Banderas. How do you say... Ahhh yesss.
- Apr 19, 2013