Netflixing: Strictly Ballroom

in movies •  2 years ago 

Ah, the sports movie. Everyone enjoys a good old "come from behind underdog who claws their way to the champeenship" story.

"A wagon fulla pamcakes? In the Champeenship?! I'd like to see ya try!"

But you know what's even better than a sports movie? Why, a sports movie where the protagonists are a couple.

In other words, a dance movie. You can do the math yourself (sports movie plot + romance genre = what else?).

And what other flavor of movie is more in need of a good fun-poking?

This is Strictly Ballroom.

You Better Run, You Better Take Covah

Australian films often get ignored in the U.S. Those that do cross the ocean are usually something of a spectacle, drawing eyes simply because of how unusual they are.

And Strictly Ballroom does not buck this trend. It is colorful, crazy, and melodramatic, with a twist of corny thrown in for good measure.

It's hard to gauge exactly how self-serious the movie is trying to be. At times it seems to realize it's a comedy, yet in other places it tries to sell itself as a drama. The dance choreography is top notch, and there isn't much in the way of joke cracking.

Nevertheless, the movie gets laughs, if only from the absurdity of it all. It's a typical sports movie story, except that the sport in question is ballroom dancing, and the championship game is a rather small dance competition that only exists to justify the existence of the dance schools that feed into it.

Baz Luhrmann, who directed the film, went on to make two more entries into what he called "The Red Curtain Trilogy", and you likely have heard of the other two: Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!

But Strictly Ballroom is perhaps the strangest of the lot, and by far the most comedic.

Can't You Hear, Can't You Hear the Thundah?

The story is simple: Boy loses dance partner, boy chooses unappealing girl to be his new dance partner, ugly girl cleans up nicely and becomes a good dancer, cliche misunderstanding and/or societal pressures force the new pair to break up, boy comes to his senses and performs small gesture to win girl back.

Not the most cerebral of plots, but also not quite El Tango de la Muerte.

"You are now carrying my child."

"But how?"

"It is the mystery of the dance."

But behind it all there is a good message about not necessarily playing by the rules other people set up for you, as our dancers are chastised by the establishment for using non-federation dance steps (how scandalous!) and yet manage to leave an impact and change the culture by doing things their way, etc., etc.

Where the Beer Does Flow and Men Chundah

Most of the humor, intentional or not, just comes from how Australian the characters are. That's why it's so hard to judge which moments are meant to be funny, and which just turned out that way.

There were long stretches of dialogue where I was not able to understand anything the characters were saying, as they dropped a lot of exotic vocabulary at a rapid pace. But the words themselves were funny enough to keep me attuned to the story.

Gave Me a Vegemite Sandwich

A special mention needs to be made to the cinematography of this film.

Baz Luhrmann's films often take chances with their camerawork, and it pays off here. A lot of dance films are content to stick with wide angle lenses and profile shots with the action right in the center. And if Strictly Ballroom had gone that route, it would have been a much more forgettable movie.

That this film has managed to distinguish itself from so many dime-a-dozen dance movies is testament to the risks taken here. I might not have been persuaded to finish the film, otherwise. And that's saying a lot, because I tend to judge my entertainment more by its writing than by anything else. That the cinematography impacted me at all is evidence of Mr. Luhrmann's cinematic skill.

Do You Speaka My Language?

But, most interestingly of all, Strictly Ballroom is not strictly a movie.

Luhrmann premiered it as a stage play, and recently that play was revamped as a full-on musical that premiered in Australia and has since made its way to London and the U.S. I have not yet seen this musical, but after watching the film I have to say I am interested.

My Judgment

Strictly Ballroom is a fun movie.

It's not necessarily a great dance movie, or even a great romance movie, but it has a charm that cannot be denied and is not replicated by other dance movies. It also gave me a deeper appreciation for Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time"---a song I had never appreciated before until I saw how fittingly it matched this film.

It probably works better as a date movie than as something you want to watch on Netflix by yourself. Or even a viewing with friends would probably enhance the experience. And if at all possible, viewing it as a musical with an audience full of people seems like your best bet.

Don't write this one off without giving it a go.

Previous entries in the Netflixing series:

Past Years

TV Shows

  • Little Witch Academia
  • Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
    If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
    Sort Order:  

    Actually I am not very interesting to watch movies int his category! Anyway that would be a great review! You got that ability very well!


    Strictly Ballroom? Never heard of this before. Thank you @talanhorne for always bringing us very new, unique info. about so many different shows, movies. ☺

    are missing out

    Ball room dancing is a Sport!? I've been lied to my whole life!!! haha
    Nice post mate! Might check this out.

    I liked the great post post very much so I liked a post on the post Thank you so much for giving this post Friend

    This would be a awesome story of Netflix series. Nice publications and nice writing. Thank you for inspire me @talanhorne.

    Its gaming movie basically ballroom dancing indeed. Nice romance and funny scenes entire here. Better story title and I think please watch refer to love once.

    Strictly Ballroom is a awesome dance mix story. Nice stuff @talanhorne.
    Up-Voted & Re-Steemed.

    Useful and effective tips and good writing, thanks.@talanhorne
    Upvote Resteem

    You are a good person to write.your ideas and writing have been fulfilled.
    This is great article and good advice.
    (((((( Resteem service)))))

    @talanhorne Such a great article & nice photography
    Experience the excitement by moving, dancing and creating unique musical beats – it is truly awesome! It's the next musical sensation of the new age…Muzic by Mooving! Device uses the latest Bluetooth technology

    This article is professional & Excellent writing . so great experience.
    Thanks @talanhorne
    100% like and resteem

    that gif :P

    oh my.

    Wow....another...wonderful movie review by @talanhorne
    Actualy I'm reallt like ur movie posts...
    Wel done and execellent work sir...

    looks like i will enjoy watching this one for sure thanks for sharing @talanhorne

    Excellent review about Strictly Ballroom. Found a movie to watch. Thank you.

    ~Followed & Upvoted

    these might be interesting to according to the genre thanks for reviewing

    @talanhorne - Sir, it's an excellent review & I think I want to watch this movie... Thank you Sir...


    its seems wonderful thanks for posting your review :)

    Hello @talanhorne,

    Extraordinary good writing of your latest review. I mostly like the conclusion (your judgment) of the post.


    that gif hahah completely fits the post i have watched it and i liked it very much

    This is great post. very interesting movie and good I think.
    have a great day

    impressive review of the movie & well writing it @talanhorne

    reteemed & upvoted & commented & followed

    Excellent movie review & will watch it in netflix~

    Congratulations @talanhorne
    Now you are in the MinnowsPower Loyalty Member List...!!!

    Exceptional writing & review about "Strictly Ballroom" movie...!!!

    15% Upvoted by @MinnowsPower

    wow bro i think i will love the dance in that will be checking out :)

    this looks rocking from the review wow amazing indeed thanks for sharing your review :)

    Amazing post @talanhorne thank you.

    For your post propagation.

    Wow nice movies and great post.
    Thank you @talanhorne
    Upvote Resteem

    impressive post today thanks for sharing

    what?? ballroom dance is a sport now? did I get it correctly? :)

    Very amazing review the best of the 2018

    lets give it a damm shot today thanks for sharing bro

    Thank you @talanhorne for sharing this post

    Great post, this isn't my favorite movie but is a good one to lay back on a sunday and watch!!!

      ·  2 years ago (edited)

    I won't this irregular, I will give it a go, if for only I presumably would have a pleasant giggle I presume

    excellent post sharing,i like your post
    thanks for sharing


    Wow really a nice movie...looks like i will enjoy watching this one for sure thanks for sharing this to us....@talanhorne

    Such a great article & nice photography @talanhorne

    Wow that's really very interesting post.
    i enjoyed this post very much.

    thanks for video .please come to my blog page :)


      ·  2 years ago Reveal Comment

    Wow! Great and amazing post sir.
    This is really new thing for me which I never heard.

    Awesome reviews about strictly ballroom.

    Thanks @talanhorne sir for sharing this post.😊

    Upvoted & Resteemed your post!!

    strictly ballroom, i will give it a go, if for nothing else i probably would have a nice laugh i guess

    Nice photography..good luck succes always..beautiful natural scenery,
    with a very beautiful color.
    thank you friends have shared

    it was a good review post time to start netflix

    Excellent work... @talanhorne

    Woow hermano. Grandioso análisis y gracias por compartir tus conocimientos con nosotros mucho éxito y buenos deseos para tu blog, y un gran saludo desde Venezuela:')

    Guzel film tesekkur ederim

    Great movie/dance analysis, i haven't seen most of these movies you talked about here..

    Guess i'm just a young lad then, lol

    Amazing and very interessing post thank you for sharing
    resteemed and shared in the steemit

    Thanks for recommendation! Added to watchlist, wating for the next posts :)

    it would appear that I will appreciate watching this one for beyond any doubt much obliged for sharing @talanhorne

    This would be a magnificent story of Netflix arrangement. Decent distributions and pleasant written work. Much obliged to you for rouse me @talanhorne.

    Helpful and successful tips and great written work, thanks.@talanhorne

    Upvote Resteem

    Missed out on this one but as it seems thanks to you buddy :)
    Another nice review from you buddy !

    Have you seen the Netflix serie Black Mirror? I did and I think will be good you talk about it, if you didn´t do before.

      ·  2 years ago Reveal Comment

    Spamming comments is frowned upon by the community.

    Comment spam is currently defined by @steemcleaners as:

    • 10 or more generic comments per day that are not in response to a question posed by the post or comment. “Thanks”, “Great Post!”, “Great Photo!”, “Good”, “Like”, “Nice”, “Wow”, “Cute”, “Follow me”, etc.

    • Commenting on old posts to hide self up-votes or a voting trail.

    • Copy/Paste comments that serve no purpose or the purpose is self promotion (including copying and pasting similar comments in rotating way).

    • Comments that inform the contributor that they have been up upvoted, resteemed, or flagged when the curator does not actually upvote, resteem, or flag the post.

    • Fishing/farming for votes by posting comments on known comment curators by using multiple accounts.

    • Unsolicited and off topic referral links.

    Continued comment spamming may result in action from the cheetah bot.

    More Info: Abuse Guide - 2017.

    is surprisingly good