Into the Beat – Dein Herz tanzt (2020)

Into the Beat – Dein Herz tanzt
Director: Stefan Westerwelle
Writer: Hannah Schweier, Stefan Westerwelle
Cast: Alexandra Pfeifer, Yalany Marschner, Trystan Pütter, Helen Schneider, Ina Geraldine Guy,
Seen on: 5.8.2020

Plot:
Katya (Alexandra Pfeifer) is training as a ballet dancer and she’s just about to have the biggest audition of her life: an opportunity for a scholarship at the New York Ballet Academy. Since she comes from a ballet family, with her father (Trystan Pütter) a big star, it was always clear that she would go down that route. But when Katya stumbles into a dance club filled with hip-hop dancers, she suddenly finds that ballet may not be her passion after all. When Marlon (Yalany Marschner) offers to train with her, she gladly accepts – but having two dance careers at once simply isn’t possible.

I love dance movies, I am very aware of the tropey nature of most of them and I can even appreciate it. I felt like the people who made Into the Beat don’t, which makes the film a soulless affair.

The film poster showing Katya (Alexandra Pfeifer) and Marlon (Yalany Marschner) dancing with each other.

There were two things that irritated me most: one was the fact that they don’t actually dance a whole lot in the film and that’s like the first thing I look for in a dance movie. A dance movie has a plot only as a vehicle to show us as many dances as possible. That’s why they are often so tropey: it’s really not about the story, it’s about the dancing. So, Into the Beat skimping on the dancing shows that it really doesn’t understand what it is all about.

Two was that I found it absolutely insulting that Katya basically realized hip-hop dancing is a thing (which in itself, in this day and age, raises several eyebrows), training for it for like two weeks (the timeline here is very unclear) and then winning the most important audition ever because she is so great at hip-hop. So the (white) ballet dancer is the best hip-hop dancer and it is suggested that hip-hop really doesn’t need all that much skill, a ballet dancer can pick it up at once. I find that offensive. [Usually, they create a fusion of ballet and hip-hop and that combination is what really wins, but in this film, they insinuate that there are some ballet elements, but really, it’s straight up hip-hop.]

Katya (Alexandra Pfeifer) and Marlon (Yalany Marschner) watch their friends dance.

There are some good parts to the film. Pfeifer and Marschner are nice as the fresh-faced leads, while Pütter really brings the emotional weight to the story. The dance scene where Katya and Marlon dance separately, but brought together by the editing, was actually really good. And my 11-year-old niece enjoyed the hell out of it.

I had originally planned to see this film with friends and make a drinking game out of it (drink at every trope), but then my niece wanted to see it, so I took her instead and watched it sober. And on the one hand, it was a good thing, I would have probably gotten alcohol poisoning. But on the other hand, I really wished I had something to drink while watching the film.

Katya (Alexandra Pfeifer) and Marlon (Yalany Marschner) at the audition, dancing together.

Summarizing: oh well.

4 thoughts on “Into the Beat – Dein Herz tanzt (2020)

  1. Terrible review for a good film.

    Watch ‘safe the last dance’, ‘billie elliot’, ‘dirty dancing’, even ‘step up’ and you’ll see dance movies can as well be story driven.

    Maybe you should have your niece written that review. She seems to have appreciated it.

    • Believe it or not, but I have seen those films and I love them and they actually feature more and better dancing than Into the Beat (arguably, Billie Elliot straddles the line to a dance movie for me). And as I am saying myself in the review, my niece enjoyed it, yes. But I did not particularly and this is my review and you can take your rude, patronizing comments somewhere else.

      • Why do ppl like you always feel offended when sb dares replying on your thoughts?

        Mentioning the other dance movies was meant to show u how wrong you are stating dance movies were not story driven. Of course that undermines the whole review of yours but honestly that’s sth you have to endure.

        From my perspective Into the beat is a very warm and positive movie for children and teenagers! It emphasizes the meaning of communication and shows young ppl’s struggle to find their path in life. This film is encouraging and deals with its subject honestly and profoundly (which is rare in modern films for children). Its beautifully shot, the music is well selected and the dance scenes are def astonishing (not all of them oc).

        I definitely would have enjoyed reading your niece’s critique. I am your she was as fascinated by the film as my kids were and she would have spread a little more of the film’s sparkles. The film is made for THEM.

        Btw: my youngest daughter loved that film so much that she decided to invite all her friends to the cinema to watch it together.

        • You’re welcome to reply and to be of a different opinion than I am. But you came to my blog to tell me that my writing is terrible and throwing phrases around like “people like you” – that’s fucking rude and that’s what I am angry about, not that your opinion differs from mine. And honestly, what I have to endure in my space on my blog is my decision.

          Just to be clear: I didn’t say that dance movies aren’t supposed to be story-driven. I said that the plot is a vehicle to include dance scenes (which is not to say that that is the only thing the plot is allowed to be). Which, arguably, means that they are absolutely story-driven, only that I find it important that the stories drives past a whole lot of dancing.

          In any case, it’s good to hear that you and your daughter can and do enjoy the film. I wish her and her friends all the fun in the world in the cinema.

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