Quick-Thoughts: Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Bill Hunter’s character looks way too much like Donald Trump for it to be a coincidence.

Admittedly (and ironically) down to all the dramatic tension and release, this is mostly just a stick-to-the-script story that repaints your typical forbidden romance based in a society where common consensus derives from a single leading culture, sustaining fear and suppressing independent thinking in an industry depended on formula. And yet, despite us having consumed this cut-and-dry tale about a gazillion times before, there’s something about Baz Lurhman’s energy and style that ALMOST successfully gives new life to it. From his perceptive sound effect and musical timing to the controlled little zeal spasms in the shots which appear steadily glittered; it’s all crowd-pleasing stuff! Those quirks do feel like they’re holding back at times, but perhaps it’s for the better — yes, I’ve seen clips from The Great Gatsby (2013) before. All the foreshadowing moments with Scott’s father prior to his reveal have a nice melancholic edge to them as well. The battle for the nerd being with the popular kid also suggestively becomes a bit weightier in the form of the battle for the minority of an uncommercial culture linking with the commercially accepted white figure. You either stay strictly ballroom or generously selfish.

Being parroted contrived examples of the “a life lived in fear is a life half lived” quote though honestly had close to enough staying power for me.

Verdict: C+

“Strictly Ballroom” is now available to rent on Amazon Prime.

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