Dance is a well-established medium of expression in today’s society for people who are unable to express themselves through words. It’s a profound sensation that seeps into the aura of the physical body as it moves, and that is why emotive forms of dance like modern contemporary have acquired such a devoted following. Netflix’s “Battle: Freestyle” explores the dichotomous relationship that exists between the modern school of dance and its multiple styles, which remain paradoxical for a dancer who must choose a style in which he or she wants to build a secure career.
Amalie, our main character, is head over heels for Mikael, her boyfriend and fellow Illicit Dance Crew member. The crew’s other dancers include Alex, Moa, and Josef. Amalie’s quest for the truth begins when she encounters her illustrious mother at a classical dance academy. She loses her rightful spot in the crew as a result of her decisions, and the crew must decide if she will be a member again to win a competition and pay their rent.
‘Battle: Freestyle’ Plot Summary
Amalie is a hip-hop dancer who has learned everything she knows about hip-hop and its various styles from Mikael. Mikael shines a light on her world, which is constantly in chaos. She hasn’t wavered in her commitment to her team members. She even enters a tournament in which dance crews compete for money. They need to pay rent and bills, so winning as a collective gives them a breather. Any dancer with a passion for the art form must learn to make a living from it, and these tournaments serve as a bastion for fledgling crews.
Josef is the first to inform his crew that he will not be able to remain with them. He’s preparing to become a father, and paying his expenses is at the top of his priority list. The crew expresses mixed emotions at the news. Amalie enters the room just in time to tell them that they have been selected for a dance competition where different dance crews from all over the world compete in the city of Paris. The prize money is a whopping 30,000 Euros. They start to develop a routine, and the competition is approaching quickly.
When they arrive in Paris, Amalie considers contacting her mother, Vivian Prytz, the Director of the Classical Ballet Dance Academy. She understands that being separated from her for such a long time will bring up the most unpleasant emotions. She gets away for a while to slip a dancing competition flier under her mother’s office door, narrowly missing her in the hallway. Amalie’s father, who has been her rock so far, advises her to reintroduce her mother into her life. Amalie is only going forward with it because her father has requested her to.
Amalie is starting to get a hang of the routine during practice sessions. Everyone is getting closer to bringing their aspects to the stage and displaying them to the rest of the world. She has a strong desire to meet her mother. Amalie intends to surprise her mother by seeing her when she least expects it. Regardless, she shows up, and they have a conversation. Amalie is unsure whether her mother recalls her after all these years, but the reality is rather different.
Amalie discovers that she still has a chance to apply to the academy as the story progresses. Only when Mikael meets Amalie’s mother does he learn that she is considering an academic dancing course in Paris that will last three years. Mikael is irritated by Vivian’s verbal punch and goes away, leaving Amalie torn between her mother and her lover. After this altercation, things between her and Mikael become tense. The crew witnesses Amalie leave in the middle of rehearsals abruptly and they suspect that something is wrong.
When Amalie begins to consider her future and how to secure it, everything changes at a breakneck speed. Nothing appears to be permanent, and the earth beneath her feet begins to shake. Her world turns on its head, and she is forced to make a choice.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Battle: Freestyle’ Ending, Explained: Will Mikael Forgive Amalie?
Amalie and Mikael put in a lot of effort with the crew to ensure that if they compete against the best, they must try to give their best too. They experiment with different approaches and work together to ensure that they have enough routines up their sleeves to combat when the time comes. When Amalie leaves at the last minute one day before the competition, the crew leader, Josef, loses his cool and throws her out of the crew. Amalie storms out the door.
Amalie’s true love is Mikael. He is entirely concerned with Amalie’s needs and ensures that she never feels lonely or in distress since he has her best interests at heart. Mikael feels particularly deceived because Amalie never sought his opinion on the possibility of obtaining a degree in another city when they received notice from their landlord that they must pay the rent in two weeks or face eviction. Amalie, on the other hand, failed to tell him that she had to resign her job to compete. Her employer flatly refused her request for time off. Mikael stated that if she does not have a job, he will be unable to support them both.
Suddenly, tensions between the two of them begin to build. Mikael does not defend Amalie when Josef tells her to leave the crew because she has to attend an audition for the ballet dance academy.
Vivian informs Amalie that she will be unable to attend the audition. Amalie is taken aback by the message, but she must persevere. She completes the audition only to discover that her style is disliked. Amalie ultimately realizes that she must rejoin the crew, as fate has dictated. But first, she meets her mother, who informs her that the academy is unaware of her daughter’s existence. Vivian feels embarrassed to bring it up, but she hopes Amalie returns to school next year. Amalie refuses to return to her mother and accepts her fate with the crew.
The crew performs a fantastic routine to get to the semi-finals. The crew has four members when they slink into the semi-final. For Illicit Crew to win the competition, five dancers must compete in the final battle. Amalie, who is in the audience, yells to Josef that it’s time for her debut. Josef asks the judges to take her into account, and the audience agrees. When Amalie takes the stage, the team is taken to a whole new level when she performs a new routine in which she incorporates her emotions, setting the dance floor on fire. Mikael notices this and can’t believe his eyes because he’s never seen anything like it before.
The Illicit Crew triumphs in the finals and receives their award, allowing them to return home and pay their rent. Mikael informs Amalie that he can only be with her if she communicates with him more and shares her problems with him. Amalie accepts, and the two reconcile. All their worries fade away with beats, grooves, and movement as the night draws to a close celebration and dancing.
“Battle: Freestyle” explores how dancers, like any other artists, face real-world challenges when attempting to make a living from their passion. As the film plays out, the dance routines seem mediocre. The story elucidates a strong bond that any performing artist has with their craft. Even with a compelling story at the forefront, the film fails to create an impact resulting in utter disappointment.
“Battle: Freestyle” is a 2022 Musical Drama film directed by Ingvild Søderlind.