Wednesday, 1 September 2010

How She Move

I fell in love with this chocolate-skinned girl. It was like, she is chocolate-skinned - it is not all about light skinned and long hair.
Rutina Wesley
A good mate and I were discussing the genre of street dance movies and their lack of main Black characters. Like Black people can't dance. Purleaze. She then told me about How She Move which is a film that dispels all that and the curious person that I am decided to check it out. After watching it I am really glad that I followed her recommendation. How She Move is the story of Rayanna played by Rutina Wesley ie the Black chick from True Blood. The film is a low budget one set in Toronto and kicks off with our protagonist having to leave her prestigious boarding school because her parents have spent all their cash on her older sister's rehab bills. Tragically this is to no avail as her sister dies before finishing the rehab programme. These traumatic incidents leave a bitter pill in Rayanna's mouth as she has to return to her local state school and the hostility of her former school peers. However, she has a plan in order to get back to her old school and that is a scholarship which means that she has to sit an exam to qualify. Back at her old neighbourhood she is reacquainted with her old friend Bishop played by Dwain Murphy who is part of a street dance group. Sparks fly but Rayana is determined that nothing will get in her way of that scholarship. However, during the exam she has a mini breakdown and with all her hopes dashed she has to find a back up plan to get her gear into check. The second plan is the highly competitive Step Monster Contest where all the best dancers compete with the winners receiving $50,000. This is the competition that Bishop and her former best friend, Michelle played by Tre' Armstrong are going for. Her relationship with Michelle is very rocky because Michelle feels that Rayanna abandoned her when she got into boarding school and the two girls bump heads often in the film. Michelle is the complete opposite to Rayanna who is studious and focused to Michelle's party going and smoking ways but the two ladies still share a deep love for dancing. After another combative episode at school, Rayanna is ordered to tutor Michelle. The duo sort out their differences and Michele offers Rayanna a slot in her dance group to compete at Step Monster. The thing is girl groups do not do well in the competition and Rayanna knows that if she stands any chance of securing her future she needs to be in a boy group and that means persuading Bishop into letting her join his so they can become the first mixed-sex group to win the competition.
While the cinematography is not as slick as the Step Up movies, the script and storyline of How She Move really grips you. You really fall in love with Rayanna and her gut wrenching determination in this film. The dancing which consists of stepping is awesome but then that is hardly a surprise as a lot of the cast are trained dancers and all put in seven hours of training each day. The film explores interesting dynamics between siblings such as Bishop's relationship with his younger brother, Quake played by Brennan Gademans is slightly turbulent due to their personality differences. Quake is a geek with an aptitude for dance who yearns for his much cooler brother's approval and acceptance to the group. There is the feudfriendship with Rayanna and Michelle and there are Rayanne's parents who are struggling to pick up the pieces after their oldest daughter's death. How She Move is a coming of age film about a lady who finds her path in life after experiencing many setbacks. The films is very endearing and I fully enjoyed it.

You can buy How She Move from amazon.

1 cool comments:

SoFrolushes said...

I love this film. watched it a while ago. I always thought of it as the female version to Stomp the Yard. I wish there were more black films around dancing