Classics: Flashdance (1983) A Review

A classic of 80s cinema, and a must watch for dance film fans…Kind of missable for everyone else?    


DIRECTOR:  Adrian Lyne

STARRING:  Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri, Lilia Skala |

SCREENPLAY:  Thomas Hedley Jr. (as Tom Hedley), Joe Eszterhas

GENRE:  Drama, Musical

RUNTIME:  95 Minutes

★★★ 3.5 Stars  

Flashdance must have made it onto just about every  ‘must see’ movie list there is, and while I can’t work out why exactly, I see nothing in this film that was particularly stand out for it’s day, it certainly is worth a watch, whether you are a fan of the genre or not.

Alex works as a welder during the day, but at night dances at a bar in town, and dreams of going to audition for a prestigious dance company.  After several mis-steps and bottle-outs, she finally finds the nerve to apply.  Thanks to some help (of course!!) from her kind of boyfriend she gets a chance to audition, and there we see one of the most iconic dance scenes in cinema history.

This movie is very much a product of it’s time.  There is a lot of rampant sexism here, (my favourite being when two girls are called c***s for not wanting to dance in a strip club.)  The whole climax of the film, the audition itself, is clearly shown to have been arranged by Alex’s boyfriend, implying he didn’t believe she could get it on her own?  Or that he just wanted to make sure she did?  Either way none of these things would be acceptable in cinema today.  The twitter backlash would be apocalyptic! 

But other then that, and some really schmaltzy love scenes with some stereotypically 80s music in the background, this film is otherwise kind of average.  I can see why it was popular at the time especially with the young adult female crowd, it has dancing and a swoon-worthy love story, and it is enjoyable to watch on a dull Sunday afternoon, but I don’t think this will be one I will ever return too. 

The story is of course predictable, I mean they wouldn’t go through all of the build up in an otherwise feel good film, only to have her fail at the last hurdle, but the end seemed rather sudden to me.  I guess we are to assume that she passed her audition, but we will never really know will we as the film cuts off before it’s ever really made clear.

I don’t see the fuss over this one to be honest. (Hopefully the film gods wont curse me.) 

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