“Shine” follows Ralph and Junior as they share their love of salsa dancing. The brothers were taught the power of salsa by their father, yet it also has come to mean more than that. Unfortunately, one of the brothers is a herald for gentrification now. The other brother resists the attempts to destroy their old neighborhood by bringing the power of salsa to the forefront. If it sounds simple, that’s because the film wears its heart on its sleeve. I miss an era where dance movies could exist as sheer spectacle. However, I’m not sure if the attempt to get political worked.
For one thing, fighting about gentrification is slightly less cliche than getting together to save the Youth Rec Center. One thing that irked me was how ‘off’ the editing felt. The dancing numbers were spot-on, but basic montages and cuts felt like they were off tempo. What’s weird is that the production team came from a music video and related entertainment background. You would figure that they would have a better grasp of timing than long-form entertainment people.
It’s a weird mix of a movie that feels like it would have been better served as a long-form TV pilot. Oh well, salsa fans will enjoy the movie. Also, major love for Alysia Reiner stealing focus in her supporting role.
- 1 hr and 35 mins
- 13 Paces