Reviewed by

L. Sue

Can an artist find success and happiness? That is the question at the center of Beat Girl, a story about Heather (Louise Dylan) who must decide between being a real artist or selling out. The movie starts out with Heather moving in with her estranged father (Michael HIggs) , from the beginning you can see this is a complicated relationship. Heather’s mom has just passed away, and clearly this isn’t the ideal situation for either Heather or the dad. She makes a bad situation worse, and upon moving in makes demands like putting the piano in the more acoustic room, and bargaining to practice at all hours of the morning and night. Throughout the movie Heather is grounded in reality, making wrong choices and outrageous demands, much like any young adult. She is not a perfect person living in a fantasy world, she very much is grounded in day to day reality.

One of the main issues of reality is money. She needs money for Julliard, and her initial plan was to get a fellowship.  Her piano teacher tells her she is a shoe in for the fellowship, and one imagines her mom also had her believing she could accomplish anything. She doesn’t get the fellowship, and must quickly find a way to get money to pay for Julliard. Not going to Julliard doesn’t appear to be an option. This was something instilled in her by her mom and now her teacher, her future and destiny were all pointing to Julliard.

Her fashion design friends clue her in that being a DJ will bring in the money fast. Being a DJ is something Heather knows nothing about, and one imagines the only electronica she hears is in the clubs, her own IPOD filled with only Beethoven, Mozart, and Rachmaninoff. This is ironic, since her little brother Mike (Percelle Ascott) wants to be a DJ so badly. He and his friend even borrow money from a less than reputable dealer, just to get the DJ equipment and Mike holes himself up in his room, perfecting his beat.

It is through her brother that Heather meets Toby, who sees the DJ potential in her. He takes her under his wing, and gets her a couple of gigs. One imagines that Heather wouldn’t have gotten so much support had she been a guy, but help is help and Heather is in it to get some money. She burns the candles at both ends, going to the

clubs to observe and practice at night and then turns from club Heater to pianist Heather by day. One can easily tell by the hair style and clothes which Heather is on display. She is getting burnt out, and things come to a head at her mom’s memorial concert. This was a big deal for the music school, but I got the impression it was more of a chore than something Heather really did from the heart. Of course the night before she gets her first DJ gig, and Toby (Craig Daniel Adams) pushes this onto her despite her initial refusal. Had Heather really felt the concert was her top priority, I imagine she would not have gone, a prime example of Heather keeping it real and making poor choices.

Things get bad at the club, Heather and Toby are arrested and Heather misses the memorial concert. This makes her reevaluate her priorities. She decides to double down on Julliard, and gives up the DJ dream. This comes at an unfortunate time for her fashion design friend, for whom Heather had agreed to DJ her all important fashion show. This is ironic that Heather is bailing on her friend, for it was Heather who gave her friend the push to apply for the fashion show in the first place. This movie is full of people who support each other, and there was no bigger supporter of Heather than Laila. Yet another poor choice of Heather to bail on her best friend and biggest supporter.

In the Julliard try out, Heather dramatically leaves without finishing her piece. She quickly changes clothes and hair style, and grabs some CDs on her way to the fashion show. She may have given up on one dream that day, but she was going to make sure Laila’s fashion empire was going to take off that day.  Turns out all of us are just trying to do the best with the hand we’ve been dealt. I wish the movie explored the dynamic between Heather and her dad and step brother more, it wasn’t really clear where the current wife had gone, was it something the dad does that scares all these women away? The brother has the true heart of a DJ, and I had to feel that it was the wrong family member who was getting the DJ success.  In the end, Heather was the one spinning the tables in Ibiza, having found that one can be happy and successful. Not many of us have had our Ibiza ticket come through yet, I’m still waiting for my own. And because I’ve made different choices than Heather, it does make it harder for me to relate to her. Most of us, no matter how hard we work never get past that first horrible showcase Heather had. Just because we like something, doesn’t equate into talent and success. However, the recipe the movie has for success is not unique; hard work, perseverance, and support (which may come in the unlikeliest of places) will eventually get you far in life.

Real Time Web Analytics