Netflix’s ‘Feel the Beat’ is a dance movie that entertains you while also teaching you some great life lessons. The movie is full of humor and heart and wins you over with its lovable characters and their commendable development. It begins with April, a person who is driven but also rather selfish at times. She meets a bunch of kids who change her life in a way she hadn’t expected. The ending brings her story to a fitting end but also leaves a lot of possibilities for her and the kids. If you haven’t seen the film yet, head over to Netflix. SPOILERS AHEAD
April is talented and dedicated. She is everything that a great dancer needs to be, and all she wants is her big break. The opportunity knocks on her door when she gets an audition for Ruth Zimmer, the biggest name in Broadway. After giving a smashing audition, the job is almost hers, but then Ruth Zimmer appears, and she turns out to be the lady whose cab April had stolen to get to the audition. Not only this, somehow, April also pushes her off the stage and Zimmer makes it clear that April’s Broadway career is over.
To flee from what has now become the talk of the town, April ends up in her hometown in Wisconsin. Unexpectedly, this is where she gets a second chance at her dreams.
While most of ‘Feel the Beat’ takes a very clear tone about where it is going and what timeline it follows to get there, the ending takes a rather abrupt turn and is quite unlike the way dance movies end traditionally. In any film that is centered around a competition, the final result is one of the main events. How a person or their team comes out of it depends a lot on the way things end for them. Sometimes, the characters win against all odds and get the first prize, and sometimes they have to accept failure and learn to move on. In any case, we get closure about their fate and how they handle it. However, ‘Feel the Beat’ has a completely different approach to it. It doesn’t give us that moment. It doesn’t show us whether the New Hope team wins the competition or not, and how they react to whatever outcome they face. Why didn’t we get that scene?
The great thing about any film is that every single frame of it means something. The presence of one scene and the absence of another can make all the difference and the makers of ‘Feel the Beat’ knew that. By not giving us that final scene, they want to focus on the core value of the story. It was never about winning or losing. It was about what you learn along the way and how you incorporate that in your life. If they had added the results scene, it would have probably undone what the filmmakers wanted to do with the project. Sometimes, the words not said are more important than the ones that we get to hear, and that’s what happens in ‘Feel the Beat’. We didn’t get to see the fate of the New Hope team because it was not the most important part of their life, and it was not conclusive of what their future would look like.
This act was also foretold at the beginning of the film when April accepts the responsibility of training the kids. She never says anything about winning the competition. For her, it is not about the kids at all. She is doing all this because she wants a chance to show her skills to Welly Wang. She knows that whipping the team into shape is hard as it is, so winning is not even in the plan. All they have to do is to be the third one, and that should be enough. The team accepts this too.
Through this, the film tells us that it is not interested in the results either. It wants to focus on the journey and that’s what the audience should be invested in as well. This is why the not showing of the results doesn’t come off as surprising or as some plot point that the filmmakers forgot to add.
Who wins the competition?
After their final performance in the competition, the scene cuts to another performance which turns out to be the Broadway show of Welly Wang. It turns out that he was impressed by April’s commitment to her students and awarded her for this loyalty by not giving away her part to someone else. In a phone call between April and Barb, we also discover that April has decided to stick with the New Hope team. She gives them lessons through Facetime and even flies back home on the weekends to teach them personally. Unlike other movies, where the protagonist has to choose one thing over the other, April decides to perfect both opportunities in her life. She continues with her ambition while also staying good with the commitment she had promised to her students back home.
In the midst of all this, the results of the competition get lost. What happened after all? Did they win? According to the conversation between April and Barb, no, the New Hope team did not win. In fact, they lost to the Royaltons, who had been their fiercest enemies since the beginning. Through some passing mentions, the film hints towards a long and ongoing rivalry between New Hope and Roylatons. It is also implied that New Hope has been losing to Royaltons in dance as well as sports. The same happens this time around as well, but the difference is that New Hope has, well, new hope now, and next time, they are going to come out better than the last time and finally beat the Royaltons.
Read More: Is Feel the Beat Based on a True Story?