What it's about:
A New York hip hop violinist and Manhattan Conservatory classical dancer meet only to discover a shared passion and natural synergy. In an attempt to find the perfect blend of their disparate performance arts, they enlist the help of a hip hop group and prepare for a competition that could change their lives forever.
What we thought:
High Strung is a modern take on pretty much every dance film you’ve seen done in a very good way. But it is not only about dance this time. The way music is integrated into the film takes it to a much higher standard and is what makes the film so enjoyable.
Ruby, played by Keenan Kampa, is your traditional Ballerina looking to make a big break on her Scholarship at one of the best school of arts in the world, but faces the struggles of letting loose in her contemporary dance class.
Johnnie, played by Nicholas Galitzine, is a brilliantly self-taught violinist who busks in the subway to make enough money to get a green card.
Sounds like the perfect set up for an intense, dramatic love story that brings music and dance together in a beautifully, heated way. And that is exactly what follows.
While the storyline is relatively predictable - two people come together from completely different backgrounds, enter a major competition that will change both their lives forever, fall in love in between and you get where I am going with this – the standard of dance and music used is just unimaginably good.
The integration of cinematography, classical music, modern music, contemporary dance and ballet creates an atmosphere that pretty much made me feel like I was there.
If ever I have envied characters in a movie it was in this one. The attention to detail convinced me that each and every person involved in telling this story was a professional and actually made me wonder how much preparation was needed for their roles.
The emphasis and care put into working the camera angles in with the genre of the film makes it that much more intense and entertaining to watch. Every beat, every move was thought out and connected to the scenario. I was also very impressed with the costumes and diversity of moves and sound, there really is something for everyone in the film whether it’s music or dance or even loves stories.
Keenan and Nicholas are fairly new to the film industry but the chemistry they shared, not only as a couple but also as two passionate students of different forms of art, works so well for the film and is what sets it apart from films like Save The Last Dance, Step Up, Center Stage and all the other classics that have made us fall in love with music and dance.
Their co-stars carry them so well which also adds to the whole package, especially because they are not well known. Starring roles can easily be terrible if not supported and carried by their underrated co-stars.
Move over Step Up and all your over done sequels, there is a new dance drama and it is one of the best to hit the big screen in a very long time!
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