Dance Subaru is not an animated cartoon about dancing Japanese cars. It is a 2009 film about one girl’s climb into the world of ballet; a place where deception, lies, back-stabbing, and using people to get ahead are considered the norm.
Subaru Miyamoto is played by the beautiful and talented Meisa Kuroki. As is usually done in the movies – to achieve success one has to have previously suffered. Subaru and her twin brother Kazuma are introduced to ballet at an early age by their Mom who soon passes away because of a cancerous brain tumor. But not before ballet had taken hold in the children.
The kids loved ballet and shared a dream about becoming ballet dancers. They could be seen in the street practicing some classical dance movements from Swan Lake. However their conservative father discouraged them, But again, death intervenes. Kazuma dies at the age of ten from a brain tumor, just like his Mother.
Flash forward about 7 years and Subaru finds herself outside of a Tokyo cabaret, the Palais Garnier, which featured both classical ballet and a strip show. Drawn into the cabaret by the ballet poster, Subaru is taken under the wing of the cabaret owner, herself a former ballerina, and is given further training in the art of ballet.
We are now sure that Subaru has her heart set on dancing. That she is most fulfilled and complete when dancing, and is free of the internal demons that plague her when she’s not dancing. Does she have the same hereditary disease that claimed the lives of her mother and brother? What about her Dad who wants her stop dancing and go to college? And does she have the talent, skills, drive, and perseverance to succeed?
She meets Liz Park, played by Korean beauty Ara. Liz is a dancer in a New York based dance company. She will introduce Subaru to the world of break-dancing as well as setting Subaru up with a guy. Also, Subaru is taking classical ballet lessons from her friend’s mother who runs a small ballet school in Tokyo.
Soon, Liz Park tells Subaru of a major dance audition to held in Shanghai, China. So off to Shanghai we go.
That’s about as far as I can go in giving you the plot outline. The film has strong dance sequences with magical editing and pacing. Kuroki has a lot of ability as a dancer. In fact, some might say that the Meisa really shines in the dance parts of the film so much so that these scenes far outdistanced the dramatic scenes.
From another perspective both Meisa and Ara are so very beautiful and graceful.
The script is nothing special as the story arc here is no different from in any other ‘dance film’ you may have seen. But I recommend this film if you like watching Kuroki, and if you love films about dancing.