Friday, 26 March 2010

Only When I Dance

Only When I Dance follows two young dancers from Rio, Irlan and Isabela, as they try to dance their way out. One has the money, but needs the grades, the other has the grades but needs the money.

They both are trying for a competition and earning what they need to live out their dreams. Which raises the issue about documentaries that contain competitions: have the makers picked the right people to follow? Undoubtedly they start off with several, but not everyone will make it. Have they picked someone who will make it far enough to be an interesting story, or do they need to change focus halfway? And if one makes it and the other doesn't, how do you present that story without becoming maudlin?

Another thought that occurred to me: when you have a documentary or even a newspaper story about a particular person who needs help, people tend to step forward to offer help... but what about all the others in the same situation who didn't get the focus?

Anyway, while I am no judge, these two are fantastic dancers who certainly get their shot, although it quickly becomes clear who is going to succeed and who isn't. This leads to some balancing issues story-wise.

This movie is decent, but the ending is stretched out too long and could easily have been cut down without losing anything.


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