Battle: Freestyle ~ A Non-Spoiler Review

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🇳🇴 BATTLE: FREESTYLE 🇳🇴

Battle: Freestyle (2022) is a Norwegian Netflix drama/music/dance/romance film and a follow up to Battle (2018, review at the end of this review). 1 hr 28 minutes. Cert 15 in the U.K.

Premise:

“Amalie’s dance crew advances to the global finals in France. Torn between the love of Mikael, the longing for her absent mother, and her fire for dance, Amalie must choose. Who is she to become?” IMDb

Cast:

Lisa Teige as Amalie
Fabian Svegaard Tapia as Mikael
Ellen Dorris Petersen as Vivian
Bao Andre Nguyen as Moa
Georgia May Anta as Álex
Morad Aziman as Josef
Keiona as Fabienne
Léa Djyl as Maxine
Lea Lavabre as Ella
Adeline Tayoro as MC

Crew:

Director: Ingvild Søderlind
Writer: Martina Cecelia
Composer: Kate Havnevik
Cinematographer: Ádám Fillenez
Editor: Veslemøy Blokhus Langvik
Art Director: Mønika Esztán
Music Dept: Øivind Gehrken, Kate Havnevik

Notes:

This film is based on a novel by Maja Lund.

Poster for Battle: Freestyle

Review:

I watched and wrote a review of Battle which is the film from 2018 that precedes this one. Having watched the sequel, I would suggest watching them in order and perhaps not leaving too long between. My main reasons for this are that you will not know the history of the characters and their relationships unless you have watched the first film. This second movie also does not give us much in the way of depth of character except for Amalie who, I confess, I had a hard time sympathising with and kudos to the other characters for accepting her.

Scene from Battle: Freestyle

Did I mind the lack of depth in characterisation? In truth, I would have liked a bit more, if only to remind us of who these people are and where they come from. It’s harder to empathise with characters when we have forgotten what makes them tick (if we ever did).

Scene from Battle: Freestyle

However, the main draw of this film, for me, is that it is principally a dance movie. I do love to dance and I love to watch people dancing; people of all levels of ability, ages and places. This film is full of people dancing. It is also a hip hop dance film so aside from one brief “modern” dance scene, it is all very “street”, tremendously athletic, gymnastic and, frankly, often incredible.

I really liked the design and “eye” shown on-screen in this film. The music (both original score and soundtrack) is, as to be expected, a strong feature. If you do not like hip hop and rap you might struggle.

However, I found the dance scenes both mesmerising and astonishing. It is amazing what the human body can do and how the drive to move to music is universal. There were parts in this where I found myself gasping and applauding the skills shown by the dancers. Phenomenal!

You will not find a very deep and meaningful film in Battle: Freestyle (although difficult parental relationships and personal issues are explored) but if you love to dance I can highly recommend it. It is a film full of energy and enthusiasm with dancers of all ages, shapes, sizes and colours – an inclusive work. I for one am just so appreciative of a chance to see them do what they do best, dance.

Trailer:

Link to the review of Battle:

Battle: Netflix ~ A Non-Spoiler Review

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