Cha Cha Real Smooth
With a lot of content doing the rounds, I was kind of lagging behind on some of the International Content which had released recently. So with that I finished watching the new English film Cha Cha Real Smooth on Apple TV. The twenties and probably the early thirties is a tricky period for any individual. This is because you are still in a process of finding yourself. And this might be through various life experiences like heartbreaks or depression which would eventually mould you and transform you into a person who is an upgraded version of yourself. The age when life truly hits you as you need to slowly start worrying about your job and your future or the health of your parents or in general life. The transition from a kid to an adult is what forms this age group. Based on such a theme, I finished watching Cha Cha Real Smooth last night. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Cha Cha Real Smooth is a coming of age story of a 22 year old as he traverses through the different problems in his life while putting on a happy face. The story doesn’t follow the regular tropes of a coming of age story. It is a refreshing take on relationships and basically life through the twenties. The screenplay standing at just 107 minutes means that the entire film can be watched in one go. And the screenplay is breezy as you get!
The drama opens with a twelve year old suffering a heartbreak which might be relatable to so many of us. But seldom do we know that this isn’t even one percent of what would transpire as we grow up. The story then cuts to the twenty two year old who has grown into this charming personality who is happy-go-lucky and the life of any party! But as the drama unfolds you get to know that the protagonist is in fact vulnerable and he just puts up a happy face for the world.
The drama is layered and the relationships shown are equally layered and delicate. The protagonist seemingly getting attracted to an older woman is symbolic of quite a few relationships in the twenties where even the genders can be interchanged. The complexities which surface with age wherein you are often undecided about your next step is perfectly represented through the older woman who is a young single mom with a past. These two characters represented the two ends of the spectrum in terms of their emotions – one who is just entering that phase and the other who is entangled in it.
The drama is engrossing and the more you tap into it, the deeper it gets. There are several heartfelt moments which are poignant and force you to think. Questions like what does it take to be happy in life are answered through a series of events which are heartwarming including the poignant and delicate final act which is beautifully staged. In other words, a beautifully penned screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are filled with understated gems which hold a lot of value and would make you think. Some of the most beautifully penned lines did resonate with me and it was almost something which I wished to hear then. The BGM is gentle and does enough in enhancing the mood of the drama. The cinematography is pretty good. Director Cooper Raiff has done a brilliant job in traverses a path which is different from the regular coming of age films which leave you with a sense of nostalgia. Instead, the drama is thought-provoking and poignant and for this the direction deserves brownie points.
The performances are outstanding. Odeya Rush as Macy and Amara Pedroso as Maya have their moments to shine. Raul Castillo as Joseph and Brad Garrett as Greg are first rate. Leslie Mann as Andrew’s mom is wonderfully restrained. To give you a perspective, do look out for a scene towards the end which would swell up your eyes. Evan Assante as David is pretty good representing the teens here. Vanessa Burghardt as Lola is excellent as the kid who has autism. Dakota Johnson as Domino looks very pretty in a character which is layered and required her to be vulnerable. And she is quite brilliant here. Cooper Raiff who doubles up as the protagonist is absolutely fabulous in a charming little role which also requires him to portray several issues of the early twenties in the most unassuming manner.
Cha Cha Real Smooth is a beautiful and refreshing coming of age story which is layered and delicate making it an excellent watch. Available on Apple TV and Highly Recommended.