Yeh Ballet (Netflix) – Review

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Yeh Ballet raised the true story of the struggle of two underprivileged teenagers from Mumbai, Aamiruddin Shah and Manish Chauhan, to realize their ideals in the dance world. An inspiring dish that does not close your eyes to privilege, but also does not deny the essence of hard work, let alone forbid the poor to dream.

Asif (Achintya Bose) and Nishu (Manish Chauhan play the fictional version of him) are our two protagonists. Asif a b-boy, Nishu stole the attention of viewers through his contemporary dance at dance competitions on television. Asif often does dirty work, Nishu secretly uses the money his father earned as a taxi driver to dance. Asif is a Muslim who likes Hindu girls, Nishu is a poor teenager who is close to rich girls. There is no convenience for underprivileged like them. Top Movie Site

The two roads intersect after both enter the dance school. An American ballet legend, Saul Aaron (Julian Sands) was brought in to teach there. Aaron was not a friendly man, even as a Jew, racism made his life journey never easy. Aaron saw Asif’s natural talent, then made him a student. Not wanting to lose, Nishu also trained hard to steal the coach’s attention. But as an underprivileged, is hard work enough? Can they reach their goals?

The answers to the two questions above are “yes” and “no”. Yes, they are able to reach their goals, but no, hard work is not enough. Because once again, Yes Ballet is a drama that invites us to be aware of the reality of privilege without trying to kill ideals. The pattern used by Sooni Taraporevala’s script is, inviting us to absorb the struggles of the two main characters first, lulling us slowly to open the dream gate, until finally the gate closes right in front of our eyes when a thick wall called privilege blocks.


The talents and hard work of Asif and Nishu seemed meaningless when struck by a bureaucracy, which was clearly “sharp down”, creating a vicious circle that always closed the door to poverty alleviation. The bourgeoisie looks down on it, reluctant to reach out to the poor. But in the grassroots itself, many are deadly dreaming of each other’s dreams. Either because of envy, or religious reasons.

Clashes between religions still often give rise to divisions in India, especially among the lower middle class. Asif is often scolded by his uncle, who is seen from the way he is dressed as a Muslim (pretentious) obedient, due to the pleasure of participating in the Diwali celebration. Something Asif tried to fight through the statement “Our blood is all the same. There are no infidels. We are all brothers”. The problem is, the uncle often provides financial assistance to Asif’s family. Best Movie

Yeh Ballet effectively built dynamics through the exposure of the protagonist’s harsh life, which even touched upon tragic events, although unfortunately, the intention to present as many problems as possible was not accompanied by a smooth transition due to the lack of bridges connecting one problem to another. The progress of the Asif-Nishu-Aaron relationship also seemed rushed. At one point Asif and Nishu argued while the coach was still not friendly, but not even five minutes later, the three of them had laughed while attending the Diwali celebration together. Another problem related to the flow is the presence of one of the dance school students, who is always a helper figure without definite motivation. Rather than a mature character, the figure is limited to a tool that comes every time the script needs to solve problems related to privilege.

Aaron’s personal story is also served half done. Dozens of unread emails from his brother were limited to trinkets that didn’t help us explore Aaron’s personal side deeper. Luckily, the film still has a sense of thanks to the appearance of two amateur actors, who are both compelling both from the ability of emotional processing, as well as the body as two talented ballet students. The decision to use Manish Chauhan to play the fictional version of himself proved to strengthen one of the most essential points in films such as Yeh Ballet: Realism. Movie Review

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