Every once in a while, it’s good to step out of your comfort zone and try a subgenre. I haven’t watched dance movies in a while, so this is almost new territory but all the staples of the trade are there. The film highlights several dance styles as well as the struggles and triumphs you have to expect. At its core, this film is a heroine’s journey as she goes from rookie with potential to recognized talent. Let’s see your moves.
Dreams On Fire (2021) is written and directed by Philippe McKie. It chronicles and up and coming dance enthusiast, Yuma (Bambi Naka) as she leaves her small town behind and moves to the big city, Tokyo, in search of her dream. To survive, she’ll have to navigate contests, auditions, and work part-time jobs where she’s rarely respected. That implies dodging some shady characters but hopefully she’s make some very good friends along the way.
For every aspect of this film, we meet some very colourful characters and extremely impressive dance skills. Each time Yuma navigates new terrain, there’s a new palette of bright colours and sounds to make it come alive. I did enjoy that Yuma’s big break, which seems to shatter several times, is around the corner but never expected. She works hard for it, she puts up with terrible bosses and her lack of experience seems to be a constant hurdle to overcome.
Recommended for the dance enthusiast or the one waiting to emerge. I do believe the audience will need to have an inclination for music or dancing to fully appreciate it, but at least you can empathize with the main character’s struggle to make it. It’s a surprisingly fresh take, but you must be open to take it in. Worth a watch even if you’re mildly curious.
That will do for now.