Take the Lead
If you enjoy movies inspired by true stories, you will probably love the musical drama about ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine entitled, Take the Lead. After witnessing a teenager demolish the car of Manhattan High School Principal Augustine James (Alfre Woodard), ex-professional ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine (Antonio Banderas) volunteers his time to teach dance. Ms. James tells Pierre to report to the dilapidated basement and teach misfits, gang-bangers and troublemakers during after school detention. (I think I would have danced myself right out of there.) Pierre manages to convince the kids that he wants to help them by teaching them the Tango, Meringue, Salsa, Foxtrot and Waltz. They learn the basic steps and soon began mixing ballroom dancing with their own style of hip-hop. Slowly the kids develop respect for Pierre and trust him to help with personal problems and family issues. Most importantly, he teaches them the values of working together as a group toward a common goal. In the end, Pierre brings them together just in time for an all-city dance contest. (Right and I’m going to be in the next Olympic downhill ski competition.) The script for this film is formulaic and comes across as another, “save the poor inner-city kids” movie. But if you look a little closer, you’ll see how this film jumps from average to good because of Bandera’s charisma and strength as an actor. The casting of the kids was perfect and the music was outstanding. I left the theater with my cane tapping. (The cane was tapping so I didn’t run into anything). By the way, in the true story, Pierre taught ballroom dancing to kids in elementary school – not to high school thugs. Just another example of why I don’t believe anything I see or hear at the movies. This film is exciting and I’m giving it a B rating.
This movie has been given a PG-13 rating by the MPAA
Although I am blind, I can appreciate a good movie as well as sighted individuals.
I rely more on a good story line than special effects.