Watching the massive backlash that Netflix got for having this film on their streaming service, I had to watch it to see if it was as bad as people were claiming. Unfortunately, it is.
Now I understand where this movie was going and what story it was trying to tell. The story of a young pre-teen girl who lives in a very traditional household finds her family’s traditions and her westernised lifestyle clashing when she makes friends with girls at school who love to dance. Alongside battling her family’s ways against her friends she also has to deal with the struggles of growing up and becoming more of a woman.
This movie is that simple, and is when you put it like that a good story of understanding what is important for yourself and making sure the choices you make as you grow up are choices that will be the best for you.
But then this movie takes a dark turn and this turn is one I think the movie put way too much emphasis on. It’s obvious to me that this plot line was included to cause shock, to shock and disgust the viewer, which is does do very well. But, I also feel it was played up far too much, far too much time was spent on this plot line and the same shock value could’ve easily worked with some of the scenes easily being shortened or being filmed differently.
Now these scenes are where the main character discovers sexual music videos of girls twerking and being seductive. She then incorporates this sort of seductive dancing into the routines she does with her friends, but the difference here is the women in the videos are grown women and these are eleven year old girls. You often have to remind yourself that these characters are supposed to be eleven because it is very easy to forget.
Now this plot line is obviously used to show that these girls don’t want to be seen as children anymore and the way hey are filmed dancing is very sexualised to show the gaze that most predators would have on these children, but that does not make it ok. I felt incredibly uncomfortable in many of the scenes shown in this movie, whether for shock value or not, and in some ways I do hope it isn’t pushed or recommended to people as I imagine others would have much of the same, or a worse response to it.
I understand the point of this movie, I do, but making it so easily accessible doesn’t sit right to me. You never know what sort of people will be watching this movie! In some ways I do feel Netflix should take it down but then I don’t think you should stifle art either. It’s a conundrum I cannot solve myself but I do not recommend anyone watching this movie as there are other movies who have the same sort of story line to them that isn’t as provocative or stomach churning as this.
What do you think?
Until next time.