Sunday, September 04, 2005

shall we dance ?

By and large, definition of a perfect marriage would be “an agreeable, harmonious, peaceful co-existence of man and woman who don’t harbor any ill will, despise eachother. The couples in such marriages often are cynosure in the eyes of others with remarks “they have smooth life with no troubles “Now these very words are breeding ground of “boredom marriage.” It is like a soda without bubbling fizz. Marriage is becoming predictable without any surprise or challenge.

This topic of “marriage boredom “is nothing new for any moviemakers. It is a potent situation to make script with elements of infidelity, identity crisis that will portray heady sensuous affairs and resultant complex relationship.

“Shall we dance “ a remake of Japanese movie, deals with the very topic of “ marriage boredom” without resorting to any temptation of using ‘seductress’ Jennifer Lopez to wean the handsome Richard Gere from his wife Susan Sarandon. Instead screenplay writers Masayuki Suo (Original Movie), Audret Wells and Director Peter Chelsom brought out the fact that if love between the spouse is intact, then boredom in marriage can at best result into sins of omission than sins of commission.

John Clark loves his wife Beverly but after 18 years of marriage feels that, his life does not have any excitement despite having everything that a man would ask for. He has a caring and lovely wife, two teenage daughters, successful thriving career, yet the spark is missing. He is afraid to tell his wife lest it would hurt her. While commuting from office to home, he catches a site of a lonely woman, standing out of window of run down dance school. It becomes his everyday ritual to have a glimpse of her through passing train window. His predicament of marital boredom coupled with his curiosity for this woman makes him climb the stairs of this dance school. Soon this place becomes his evening stopover. Despite fear of alerting his wife with his late arrivals at home, he cannot deny the temptation to continue with newfound obsession of this woman. Surprisingly, Paulina - Jennifer Lopez for whom John took a plunge to dancing school remains an enigmatic person only to have her own life transformed with the presence of John. But can this woman in dance school able to rejuvenate him from marital boredom shackles?

How does Beverly – John’s wife take this bizarre behavior of John? Does it lead to estrangement any further? A movie answers these questions through innovative exposure of Latino dance. Script has some philosophical touch when Beverly justifies the existence of marriage with amazing quote: “With billions of people on planet, who cares what happens to one life? But we still marry someone to have a witness to our lives. In a marriage, we promise that one person to witness everything about him, the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. We proclaim him every time that ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’ ”. Susan Sarandon as his Beverly wonderfully portrays her initial marital insecurity only to become philosophical.

In this movie, there is no ‘love at first sight’, no dalliances, nor titillating dance sessions. Instead, it is a wonderful dramatization of diverse characters that have come to this dance school for their very own funny but valid reasons. All of them not only accomplish what they intended to but also transform the very substance of their life

Richard Gere has played the part of John Clark with ease and finesse. Jennifer Lopez does not have same meaty role as in ‘Maid in Manhattan’ but she matches Richard Gere with her silent aplomb and elegant body movements.

‘shall we dance’ also illustrates various forms of Latino dance and skills that are needed to appreciate the essence. For example in Rumba – a type of ballroom dance, it is not just enough to know the dancing steps but feel a rage and passion for your partner. “You need to hold her as if; her thighs are the existence of your reason for living. You need to let her go as if your heart is being ripped from your chest. You need to pull her back as this is the opportune moment for you to have her right here on the dance floor. And then seek that ultimate revenge as if she's ruined you for life “.

The rest of the characters in the movie worked very well to orchestrate the right steps. There is no grandeur in sets in order to make the movie look realistic. The climax of the movie involves medley of Latino dances that has some charming costumes. Richard Gere in Tuxedo looks awesome. The musical score is captivating but it does not get prominence as all the attention is usurped by outstanding dancing sequence.CNN has been very harsh reviewing this movie after comparing it with original Japanese movie. However, for ordinary moviegoer, who has not seen Japanese version, this movie is a pleasant experience of watching wonderfully woven fabric of human emotions with Latino dance theme.


Blogger Nyneishia said...

nicely written :)
Will check back.
i am short of time but cant resist the temptations of blog hopping.

will be back as often as i can

9:39 AM  

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