Film Review: Feel the Beat

Disney star Sofia Carson stars in Netflix’s new film Feel the Beat telling the story of an aspiring dancer whose career is ruined by one mistake meaning she has to go back to her roots.

April is living in NYC and is living the dream of a Broadway dancer. As she is about to attend an audition, she desperately needs to get a cab but there is another woman who goes for the same once as her (pay attention to this woman later on). 

As she gets to her audition, she is smashing it with her slick moves and gets down to the final four. However, suddenly big shot Broadway producer Ruth Zimmer walks in and surprise surprise, it is the women April previously took the taxi away from earlier and infuriated. From this, Ruth makes it clear April will never have a career on Broadway.

Things get even worse for April as she is evicted from her flat and must go home back to Wisconsin. As she arrives back in her hometown, her old dance teacher Barb brings her back to the dance studio where she learnt all she knows. To get her Broadway career back on track, April decides to teach the girls in Barb’s studio for the “Dance Dance Dance” competition and get them to nationals where April can perform in front of Willy Wong.

Returning home brings a lot of memories back for April – not only for dancing – but also when she bumps into her ex-boyfriend Nick. Along the way, they experience problems, but we watch as the girls make their way to nationals. But will they make it to the top?

This is a film that in the beginning, it takes a while to get into the action but as it progresses it becomes more enjoyable to watch. A character that stands out is Barb (Donna Lynne Champlin) for her sweet and caring performance as the dedicated schoolteacher. 

In a particular scene – after April walks out after arguing with a student – Barb explains to two of the younger students an easier way to dance and explains why April is the way she is. Its scenes like this with Barb’s character that makes the film more of a sweet viewing. 

Another success of the film is April’s character development. In the beginning, she is very self-centred and would do anything to be the best dancer and get her lead role. However, as she makes her way home and starts to teach the girls at the studio, she finally starts to care for others and realises its not always about her. 

Sofia Carson’s portrayal of April (specifically in the beginning), is perhaps one of the pitfalls of the film as she makes the film quite boring to watch. Her voice is very monotone and the arrogance she has when she dances at the start of the film, in some way makes it awkward to watch. The close-ups they use on her when she is at her audition makes the dancing more cringy viewing. 

Another pitfall is again the beginning. As soon as the film starts, it feels as if it is a midpoint of the film. You get this feeling because, at the start of the film, it usually starts with a loud background track and takes its time to get into the action. However, at the start of this film, there is a backing track, but it is very quiet and we plummet straight into the action. In some way, this doesn’t lure you into the film straight away compared to others. 

Ultimately, Feel the Beat has its drawbacks in the beginning, but as it progresses it becomes more enjoyable and even at some points is more emotional than expected.

By Katie Green

Feature image: ComingSoon

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