At first glance, some might dismiss this film as yet another in an endless procession of generic, dance-themed movies. Admittedly, the plot is somewhat familiar, however this is the UK’s first streetdance movie and it has the added bonus of being in 3D.
Streetdance is a 90 minute rollercoaster blending awe-inspiring dance routines with a tale of friendship and love, gently infused with the sarcastic humour we Brits are famous for.
The story begins with Carly (Nichola Burley) a plucky Northerner who has headed to London to fulfill her life-long ambition to be a champion street dancer. The opening montage shows her idyllic life, which is spent either busting moves with her loveable crew, or undertaking an altogether different type of exercise with her utterly delicious boyfriend Jay (Ukweli Roach). A series of unfortunate events, and a perpetual lack of funds, finds the crew forced into an unlikely union with five students from a classy local ballet school. Tension ensues, as the classically trained ballet dancers attempt to throw away the rule book and embrace street style. But with the UK Streetdance Championships looming, and their super-slick rivals ‘The Surge’ (Britain’s Got Talent’s Flawless) to beat, is it the ultra-trendy street dancers who need to take a lesson from their more traditional new friends?
While Carly’s rather unconventional new crew battles to become the ultimate street dancing she also finds herself at the centre of a love triangle. Whilst her boyfriend Jay is not everything he seems, the equally buff Tomas (Richard Winsor) is also vying for her affection (it’s a tough life). Credit to Windsor, who achieves the seemingly-impossible in managing to maintain his sex symbol status whilst wearing tights.
Britain’s Got Talent winner, street dancer George Sampson stars as Eddie, Carly’s cute but hapless colleague, and his engaging performance is one of the film’s highlights.
As the plot unfolds, you find yourself developing a fondness for the film’s heroine (despite her propensity for getting her kit off at every given opportunity), but it’s the incredible dance routines and the near-unbearable tension of the final scenes which will keep you on the edge of your seat. The fact that the film’s in 3D is the cherry on the cake, but it’s certainly not a gimmick to maintain the audience’s interest (look out for the ‘food fight’ scene and try to resist the temptation to duck!).
There are echoes of Save the Last Dance in the central concept, but what makes this interpretation so wonderful is the fact it’s so very, very British. Starring the very best of our home-grown dance talent and featuring some stunning panoramic views of the London skyline, one can’t help but feel a tad patriotic.
In a world where we have become accustomed to hearing all the negative aspects of youth culture, it’s refreshing to see a film highlighting talent and championing determination and hard graft. The universal message is that success is born simply out of being true to ourselves. You’ll leave the cinema uplifted and ready to shake your booty!
Words by Natasha Devon