Strictly Ballroom

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Baz Lurhmann explores many different themes and ideas throughout the film they help him to get a clear message to the audience through. Discuss.

In the film Strictly Ballroom, Baz Lurhmann explores many ideas. His themes include; the individual versus the organisation, the contrast of the different families and cultures, the real and artificial world, and freedom freedom versus conformity. Each of them is brought out through the characters, humour and specific film techniques.

In order to promote individuality Lurhmann explores the nature of being an individual versus being just like everyone else. In carrying out this exploration, Lhurman uses the Ballroom Dancing Federation as the organisation. The question is address early on in the film, “What’s wrong with me? What’s so wrong with the way I dance?” Here, Scott is challenging that fact that such conformity leads to crushing individuality. The use of camera angles and lights show Scott individualism. The spotlight that is shown when Scott is dancing in the dance studio, shows his individuality and passion as sometimes his face will be in the light, showing that is a confident and not afraid to be an individual, but when his face is half in a shadow and half in the light, it shows that he is slightly unsure, or afraid. When he dances from the heart, the audience can recognise that that he fights for his individuality, even if it means being an underdog. On the other hand, the organisation has a distorted perception of the true importance of dancing and this is partly shown through the ballroom dancing competitions always being held indoors. They have created an insular, claustrophobic world where outsiders aren’t welcome and innovation is seen as a threat.
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