A sequel to the Netflix original Battle (2018), Battle: Freestyle is based on a successful 2014 YA novel by Norwegian author Maja Lunde. Both films were released on the streaming service this year.
Lisa Teige, who starred in the popular Norwegian adolescent drama Skam, reprises her role as Amalie, a student of contemporary dance who grew into a hip-hop dancer with the help of her new boyfriend Mikael, in this new series (Fabian Svegaard Tapia). Despite the fact that it has been several years, the Illicit crew is excited for their upcoming big dance competition in Paris. However, it is also the residence of Amalie’s estranged mother…
Battle Freestyle : Watch or Not?
This is the gist of it: We are introduced to the brave members of the Illicit dancing company, who have all returned from the first Battle. When they perform on the streets of New York City, Amalie and Mikael are joined by Josef (Morad Aziman), their leader, Moa (Bao Andre Nguyen), and Alex (Georgia May Anta), and their motions are filled with synchro and acrobatic flights that garner roars of praise from a gathered crowd.
Because dancing is not a viable means of earning a living, as Josef points out, everyone in the crew returns to their regular lives until Amalie discovers that Illicit has been accepted into Break the Cypher, a popular street dance competition in Paris, which she enters with Illicit. It’s an opportunity for them to demonstrate their abilities against some of the top crews in the world, with the winner taking home 30,000 euros. Was it ever suggested that you couldn’t make a living dancing?
Upon arriving in Paris, the group settles into a hostel before going out and filming dance videos around the city, which they then upload to social media platforms. They’re all giddy with excitement, but Amalie is torn. Vivian (Ellen Dorrit Petersen), with whom she has been estranged for the majority of her life, resides in Paris, where she is a dance instructor at a prominent private academy.
Amalie pays her a visit, and the two of them hesitantly rekindle their relationship, but she keeps her mother’s whereabouts a secret from everyone except Mikael. A visit to Break the Cypher’s practise facility allows the crew to have a better understanding of their main competition. The Raw-Nez crew has enough supplies. Salah, their leader, is described as “a living legend” by Alex, and Sarah Bee is described as “one of the best B-girls in the world,” while Lil Kev is described as having “the sickest power moves.”
Salih Benlemqawanssa, Sarah Bee, and Lil Kev are all top competitive hip-hop dancers in France, and they all appear in this episode.) The first season of France Has Incredible Talent as well as Arabs Got Talent were won by Salah, and Sarah Bee starred on the Red Bull series Rise of the B-Girls. Illicit is banished to a rehearsal room in the basement, while Raw-Nez is given prime real space on the first level.
Amalie holds a grudge towards herself for her mother’s lack of presence in her life. While spending time with her is energising, it is disappointing when Vivian does not identify her as her daughter to her colleagues at the academy.
Vivian is critical of Mikael’s relationship, even as she helps Mikael get an audition with a modern dance professor at a local university. “I’m not always sure where I stand with her,” Amalie admits, and she’s absolutely right about that.
Her absences from Illicit practise sessions are becoming increasingly frequent. Break the Cypher will be released in a few days. Her mother might be chilly one day and generous the next, and vice versa. In addition, she is always at odds with Mikael. What direction will Amalie take next is anyone’s guess. And, more importantly, will her crew be able to win it all against the overwhelming odds?
Is it Reminiscent of Any Particular Films?
Break, a 2018 film, explores the world of France’s burgeoning underground dance battle scene, which is essentially an unsanctioned and more frenzied version of the competition Illicit make it into in Battle: Freestyle, which was the subject of the documentary Break. As a matter of fact, Freestyle is a sequel to Battle, which was released in 2018 as well, and in which Amalie’s adventure into hip-hop dancing began alongside Mikael and the team.
Is The Movie Worth Watching?
Despite its title, Freestyle is mostly a dance film, and it is thrilling to see each member of Illicit and the crews they encounter perform their moves on the dance floor. As opposed to Josef, who prefers bold b-boy routines and dynamic pops, Moa is all about flips, headspins, and flaunting his abs, while Alex combines undulating body moves with boisterous call-outs and smooth synchros to create his own unique style. Amalie, on the other hand, manages to strike a clear balance between her modern dance background and the more obnoxious motion of hip-hop.
Josef is always Illicit’s voice of reason, and he is always right. Following their evaluation of their rivals, he feels forced to give his squad the straight information on what they’ve learned.
“Unless someone learns to fly, we won’t win.”
More About It
In the world of dance movies, the tension is rarely found in the outcome of the film. Of course, the underdogs are up against some of the most powerful players in the game. And, of course, they are underfunded, have a shortage of people, and have no official status. But they’ve got each other – they’ve got emotion, dude – and in this world, the power of a person’s personality outweighs the influence of large sums of money and a prestigious reputation on any given day. Battle: Freestyle follows a similar pattern in terms of building anticipation for the huge final fight.
The film does have some fun once Break the Cypher is deactivated, as it shows off the B-boys and B-girls and various boogaloo performers at work, including inverted dancers sliding around on their heads and scrabbling backward on their hands, bodies whipping and twisting through airspace, furious bouts of popping, and frantic taunts in mime.
Freestyle, on the other hand, is pushed to one side in this. Dance movies require training sequences just as much as they do showdowns, and despite the fact that Freestyle comes to life anytime Illicit and Freestyle dance together, we don’t see nearly enough of that relationship in the film.
For one thing, the film is primarily concerned with Amalie’s complicated psychological journey, which is itself very predictable, especially without a more in-depth study of the emotional chasm that has existed between Amalie and her mother for all of those years. Fortunately, some aspects of her journey are more successful, particularly her audition at Vivian’s academy, where she successfully combines the fluidity and grace of modern dance with the boldness and energy of hip-hop sequences.
Moreover, when a distraught Amalie flees into the nighttime Parisian streets, she meets a group of new friends who become allies and proudly reveal the personal abandonment and dancefloor improvisation at work in an underground dance club set to the pulse-pounding tones of Lindstrom’s “I Feel Space.” The atmosphere and its people, who are more vibrant, vivid, and sexier than anything currently happening in the world of professional hip-hop dancing, would provide an excellent setting for a third part of Battle, if such a thing were to materialise.
Battle Freestyle Trailer
You can watch this film on Netflix which was released back on April 1, 2022 and only has 4.2 out of 10.