“The Challenge to belong may be resisted or embraced”
Belonging is a challenge that may be resisted or embraced. For some sticking to the status quo and conforming to the norms of society are what they embrace. However for others, resisting this ideal of conformity and embracing their own sense of identity, is how many feel they belong. Belonging relies on the expectations of oneself and the acceptance of others around you.
Scott Hastings, Bas Lurhman’s main protagonist in the film STRICLY BALLROOM, finds himself deliberating the ongoing challenge of embracing the strict rules of the Dance Federation, at the risk of resisting and rejecting his own identity. However, he is determined to embrace his style and resist conformity. Lurhman does this by inserting unlikely characters, Fran and Doug to assist Scott in achieving self-expression.
In the opening scene of STRICTLY BALLROOM, the audience is immediately subjected to the theme of embraced conformity. Lurhman does this by presenting a montage sequence of dancers. Dancing the same steps and wearing the same costumes. The film quickly takes a turn, and the audience is offered Scott Hastings, his character in a pivotal moment proves resistant to this form of belonging. Rather he results to his own flashy crowd pleasing steps, after being boxed-in. This scene acts as a metaphorical representation of Scott’s entrapment and confinement within The Dance Federation, and his willingness to break away from authority. However, embracing the challenge to belong to ones own individuality, acquires leveled criticism. In Scott’s case discouragement comes from the stylized and highly satirical values ruled by Barry Fife, the low-angled shot is coupled with smarmy expression which suggests he is an unlikeable character. The challenge continues when Barry Fife establishes through his unsympathetic dialogue “ you can dance any way you like, that doesn’t mean you will win” – On win the camera shot zoom into his mouth,...
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