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Battle: Freestyle 2022 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Films dedicated to dance, like those in general focused on the world of sport, always have a certain success with the public because they tell stories of personal redemption, of growth, stories in which the discovery of oneself comes through a newfound discipline and faith in a dream to dedicate your life to. Speaking specifically of works dedicated to dance, we note that they can be divided into two categories: those that pay more attention to the characterization of the characters and the development of the plot, on the one hand, and those that prefer to give more space to the choreographed sequences, to which a very large portion of the narrative is dedicated, on the other.
Obviously, in this second case, the attention dedicated to the deepening of the characters and the construction of the plot is, inevitably, a bit lacking. As we will see in this one Battle: Freestyle reviewthe movie by Norwegian director Ingvild Søderlind, who has just arrived on Netflixdefinitely belongs to this second group: sequel to the 2018 film – always available on the streaming platform – Battle (which was an adaptation of a successful novel by Maja Lunde), this second chapter still stars Amalia (Lisa Teige) and Mikael (Fabian Svegaard Tapia), who after having had to fight for their love – and to make their dreams come true – find themselves facing new difficulties.
The film also works as a standalone, but without having seen the first it is difficult to grasp the background of the characters and their characterization would be, if possible, even more sketchy and superficial.
At the center of this story – three years after Battle – we still find the young Amalia, now a permanent member of the Illicit hip hop crew and in a solid relationship with Mikael. The five Illicit members are not doing particularly well economically, however, Josef (Morad Aziman), who is about to have a baby, is even considering the option of leaving the group to find a full-time job and earn money. Moreover. However, the opportunity for redemption presents itself very quickly: the dancers have been selected for a very prestigious Freestyle competition, in Paris, whose winners will win a large sum of money.
The group then went to the French capital, but Amalia’s emotional stability was immediately put to the test. In fact, Vivian (Ellen Dorrit Peterson) lives in Paris, her mother who abandoned her and who works as a ballet teacher in a very important school. After re-establishing relations with her mother, Amalia will be forced to question both her dreams and her future: when the opportunity presents itself to an audition for a modern dance course in which it is very difficult to enter, the girl will wonder if hip hop, then belonging to Illicit and participating in the competition, is really the right path for her. But how will her companions take it?
As we explained at the beginning, Battle: Freestyle is one of those works on dance that gives great space and importance to the choreographed sequences: much of the time – which are already only 88 minutes in total – is dedicated to the ballad scenes, in which our protagonists are they prepare for the competition and then perform there (passing through those in which Amalia trains for auditions or simply goes out in the evening in a club and goes wild with some girls just met). For this reason, of course, the story and characters struggle to emotionally involve the viewer, who feels as if he were watching a long video clip rather than a cinematic work. The protagonist is the only one who is given a minimum of in-depth analysis, the supporting actors – even Mikael himself – always remain in the background, making it particularly difficult for the viewer to empathize for any of them.
Having said that, then, Battle: Freestyle is a film without big pretensions from a narrative point of view, but which can still entertain if you have already seen the first film or if you are a true fan of dance films, who appreciate even just the made to be able to attend dance sequences cured and well done.
As we pointed out in the review of Battle: Freestyle, the Battle sequel is a work that does not give much importance to the narrative development and the deepening of the characters. Much of the short playing time is in fact devoted to long dance sequences.