‘Yeh Ballet’ Netflix review: Mumbai teens defeat male stereotypes through dance

Newcomers Achintya Bose and Manish Chauhan bring energy and sincerity to roles that prove hard work pays off

Joanne Ma |

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Yeh Ballet is a Netflix movie about two talented teenagers who go on a roller-coaster journey in pursuit of their dancing dreams.

Growing up in the slums in Mumbai, Asif (Achintya Bose) and Nishu (Manish Chauhan) are discouraged from dreaming. They’re expected to go to school, then earn enough money to support their families. Nonetheless, both manage to join a ballet academy led by a famous Israeli ballet dancer, Saul Aaron (Julian Sands).

 

 

This movie is a breakthrough in the sense that it defeats stereotypical Indian masculinity and shows that boys can actually be dancers, and particularly, ballerinos as long as they enjoy it. It also defies the deep-rooted social hierarchy found in India: the two boys, who are constantly looked down on because of their impoverished backgrounds, become respectable through hard work and dedication.

The message is as clear as day: where you come from doesn’t define where you’ll be going.

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Although the plot is fairly simple and a bit of a cliché, the music, choreography and inclusion of Indian traditions really make it unique.

The choreography is particularly fun and versatile. From street dance to ballet, it reflects the characters’ emotions at different stages of life.

All in all, the movie is a heart-warming, feel-good way to spend a couple of hours.