Movie Review: “Feel The Beat”
WARNING: This movie review contains spoilers!
Feel the Beat (2020), a Netflix film, is a feel-good movie about a dance competition. Sofia Carson is the star of the movie. She famously portrayed Evie, the Evil Queen’s daughter, in the Descendants movie series.
A self-centered dancer, April (Sofia Carson), blows a Broadway audition and accidentally pushes Ruth Zimmer (Pamela MacDonald) off stage. She is being blacklisted by the famous Broadway producer and is evicted from her apartment in New York. The dancer has no choice but to return to her hometown, New Hope, in cheese-loving Wisconsin. She runs into some familiar faces from her past, including Nick (Wolfgang Novogratz), the ex-boyfriend she dumped over a text, and Miss Barb (Lynne Champlin), her first dance teacher. Miss Barb approaches April about preparing her students for a dance competition. Little did April know that Willy Wong, the only Broadway producer who isn’t afraid of Ruth Zimmer, will be a judge at the national level. April then accepts the position, but she has a rude-awakening when she discovers that the students are far from competition-ready. She must teach them to get them to that level.
The movie’s overall plot is about how April goes from being a self-centered wannabe Broadway star to teaching a squad of young misfits. To get further into the competition and to get Welly Wong to recognize her, she had to remember how she first started before she wanted to become a Broadway star. April grows to care for the kids in helping them get further into the competition and giving them tough love. She especially cares for Nick’s little sister, Sarah (Eva Hauge). April’s departure hurt Sarah, and she had looked up to April as a role model. With April trying to get through to Sarah, she needs Nick to support her in gaining Sarah’s trust again. This was the start of when she began to care for the kids.
The sub-plot was the romance between April and Nick, but it didn’t focus on it entirely. It was clear from the get-go that April and Nick were rekindling their relationship when they saw each other again. There were a handful of scenes where the romantic tension between them grew throughout the movie.
I loved the young misfits group, aka April’s students. The students were diverse, and they made the movie heartwarming. It was great to see a deaf dancer, Zuzu (Shaylee Mansfield), who used sign language to communicate with others and a black girl, Kari (Lidya Jewett), who had a backstory of hiding her dancing from her mom.
These were a few of many favorite scenes or moments in the film.
- Dicky (Justin Caruso Allan) learns the dance moves during rehearsal time. After Ruby (Shiloh Nelson) quits, he steals the spotlight in the County Finals. The audience and even the judges were impressed.
- Lucia (Johanna Colon) leans on April and says, “Please,” hoping to get third place after the State Finals and learn they got second place instead.
- Deco comes into New Hope and helps to bedazzle the dancer’s costumes from some old prom dresses.
However, my only complaint was how the main character, April, was portrayed. I don’t know if it was the acting or the screenwriting itself. For the first thirty minutes of the movie, April doesn’t show any kind of emotion. Lots of blank looks and stares. I expected more eye-rolling, or showed any emotion of annoyance, especially the first time when she returned to her hometown. Her tone of voice showed her iciness, but not her expressions.
I would recommend this movie, and it’s a great family film. There are some dance moves in this movie that are inappropriate for a young child to watch, but if anything – this movie will make you feel-good ’til the end.