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Movie Review: How She Move

Movie Review: How She Move


How She Move is an energetic, gritty and ultimately inspiring coming of age tale about a gifted young woman who defies all the rules as she step dances her heart out to achieve her dreams. Featuring a fresh cast of new discoveries, this Sundance Film Festival hit marks the feature film debut of the electric RUTINA WESLEY, with street-style step sequences by top choreographer Hi Hat and special appearances by R&B singer-songwriter Keyshia Cole and comedian DeRay Davis.

Bursting with raw talent and intelligence, Raya Green (WESLEY), the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, has always been the family’s one great hope. She won the rare chance to break out of their drug and crime-infested neighborhood when she was accepted into the exclusive Seaton Academy. But when her sister dies of an overdose, the family is shattered and Raya is forced to return to the place she tried so hard to escape.

It’s not easy to go back – especially when one-time friends, including the tough minded Michelle (TRE ARMSTRONG), see Raya as a stuck-up traitor who left the community behind. Feeling trapped and looking for a way out, Raya learns about a step competition with a $50,000 cash prize that could change her fate. Most of the crews that win the big money are all male, forcing Raya to fight her way in as the sole female member of the Jane Street Junta (JSJ), led by the reining champ of the local steppin’ scene Bishop (DWAIN MURPHY). As sparks begin to fly between Raya and Bishop, a false move by Raya leaves her without a crew, and she finds herself in a battle between her loyalty, her determination, her family’s ambitions and her heart. As the big contest approaches, she realizes it’s no longer just about the money or the opportunity, but also the one thing that she’s been missing in her life: a sense of self.

Paramount Vantage presents How She Move, directed by Ian Iqbal Rashid (Touch Of Pink) from a screenplay by Annmarie Morais. The producers are Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny of Sienna Films and Brent Barclay. Driven by music, thefilm features tracks from Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Lil’ Mama and Yummy Bingham. The score is composed by Andrew Lockington.

“How She Move” is an entertaining burst of desperation and energy, a real gem as a first writing credit to Annmarie Morais. Ian Iqbal Rashid’s directorial vision makes the theater reverb with the sights and sounds of urban life while still making the challenge of improving one’s situation despite the odds center stage, which makes the film universally appealing. Full of vitality, fresh faces and electric step performances, it will get young audiences pumped up and ready to step.

Review by Marie Holzer

Grade: B-
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