Before you watch Yeh Ballet, here are a few things you should know:
- Yeh Ballet is inspired by a true story of two ballet dancers, Manish Chauhan and Amiruddin Shah, and their teacher, Yehuda Maor.
- Nishu, one of the two dancers in the film, is played by Manish Chauhan himself.
I did not know this before watching the film. When the film ended, a short line flashed on the screen, ‘Inspired by true events.’ This caught my attention and I googled the film and stumbled upon the story published by ScoopWhoop. You must be wondering why this summary? Because it will change the way you look at Yeh Ballet.
Without the background, it looks like any other film that is based on the lives of dancers who audition every year for dance reality shows like Dance India Dance. Even though it reminds you of everything you have already seen and heard about the participating contestants in DID or India’s Got Talent, or even in Any Body Can Dance, the direction and performances keep you hooked. Speaking of the performances, I truly believe that digital is the performers’ platform and every time I watch new faces on digital doing an outstanding job, it reinstates my faith in the same.
As I watched Yeh Ballet, I constantly googled the film to find out whether the boys are truly dancers or just actors, especially Manish Chauhan. He was fabulous in the film. His moves were graceful. Now that we all know that he is a dancer, those moves are god’s gift to him so let’s not talk about his dancing, let’s talk about his mind-blowing acting. I wonder if, just like a Ballet guru, he has an acting guru, as well. He was flawless and simply oozed out cuteness throughout the film. From the very beginning, you, as a viewer, simply want this underdog to make it big. You might feel the same for Asif, as well, but for Nishu, you constantly have this feeling that, ‘please, don’t ignore this guy.’ Not because he is a great dancer, but for the hard work he puts in, for the passion he has for dance. In short, in reel and real life, this guy has done a commendable job.
Achintya Bose, too, was wonderful. Yeh Ballet is his first film but it doesn’t look like. The boy is a pro. The credit, without any doubt, goes to the actors, because if they do not have it in them, nobody can make them act. But still, we have seen bad directors ruin good actors (and their performances). Hence we should give the credit for fabulous performances to even the director of Yeh Ballet, Sooni Taraporevala.
Other than these two fabulous young boys, I would like to mention Julian Sands here. This is the man you keep feeling sorry for – for the kind of room and the treatment given to him. His frustration was convincing. Complete justice has been done to the role.
Last but not the least, the movie. Is it worth your time? Yes, it is. Having said that, every now and then, I felt that the story should move faster than it did. At one point, I actually felt like it was not going anywhere. The interest peaks after the boys move in with their teacher. I also felt that there should have been more ballet. Even the audience should have gone ‘WOW’ for the dance form. The focus was more on the story which is justifiable, but as a viewer, I would have loved to see more of the graceful moves.