Heartbeats Fights it Out on the Dance Floor

Okay, so in action films warring parties fight it out with swords and canons. Take the ghosts and pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead

Men Tell no Tales as an example. In dramas like Denial the ‘warring’ takes place in the courtroom with barristers and solicitors using tightly worded arguments as weapons. In Heartbeats the battle is contested on the dance floor, and the warriors are hip-hop/Indian dance specialists. The heroes, Kelli Andrews (Krystal Ellsworth) and Aseem Kapoor (Amitash Pradhan), are young and beautiful, not ghoulish or cerebral. And the obstacles they have to overcome include neither shipwrecks nor incriminating evidence, but parental disapproval and the struggle to earn respect.

Image: IMDB

In Heartbeats the dancing really is the main thing. The plot intrudes only now and then to create some sort of framework on which to hang the story. It’s so easy to predict what happens next that watching Heartbeats provides no mental challenge. But the dancing is lovely and the dancers lovely to look at. I found myself swept along with the flow, wanting the heroes to succeed and happy when the looked-for ending comes to pass. Images of Bombay/Mumbai (there’s a reference to the confusing name in the movie) are idyllic, painting a colourful, clean version of reality. So this aspect of the film was a little hard to swallow. Another potentially contentious issue in the tale is that success takes place in the wonderful land of USA. However, this is mitigated by the training ground that India affords the dancers.

There was no blood and guts, no swearing, no nudity and no sex. Heartbeats is probably aimed at the teen market, like Step Up was, but will be lovely for most ages to watch. The film opens in South Africa on 30 June 2017.


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