Dancehall Queen [DVD] 
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Ghetto street trader and single mother Marcia (Audrey Reid) seeks a way to free herself from lowlifes like Larry, who lusts after Marcia's daughter Tanya, and Priest, a violent street thug. She begins attending the local dance hall by night, becoming the new sensation and entering a competition. If she wins the substantial prize money, she can build a better life for herself and her family.
A Cinderella story from the mean streets of Kingston, Jamaica, the alternately comic and gritty Dancehall Queen is an intriguingly dark crowd pleaser. Marcia (Audrey Reid) is a single mom and street vendor barely scraping by even with a financial assist from the seemingly avuncular Larry (Carl Davis), a gun-toting strongman with a twisted desire for Marcia's teenage daughter. Complicating things is Priest (Paul Campbell), a murderous hood who killed Marcia's friend and now is terrorizing the defenseless woman. Facing three big problems--Larry, Priest, and a lack of money---Marcia arrives at an inspired solution: develop an alter ego, a dancing celebrity called the Mystery Lady who can compete in a cash-prize contest and pit both of the men against one another. Which is exactly what she does, and it's great fun watching Marcia instigate her complicated plan with a little help from sympathetic friends. Colorful, rowdy, funny, and dangerous, Dancehall Queen is a clever and ceaselessy energetic movie steeped in Kingston street life and the desire to keep body and soul together at home. Reid is a delight as the everyday figure who transforms into an icon in the evenings, and the dance scenes are amazingly bawdy. --Tom KeoghSee all Product description
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To lesser effect, "Dancehall Queen" does the same thing as a film. Shot on digital video, which makes everything look like a British soap opera, the film concerns the struggle of a Kingston street vendor (Audrey Reid) trying to raise two children on her own. After being continually harassed by a knife-wielding thug and, in a disturbing sequence of events, encouraging her 15-year-old daughter to accept the advances of a middle-aged sugar daddy, Reid realizes that she needs to find a way out of poverty. Naturally, her mind turns to the dancehall, and she soon finds herself joining barely clad Kingston youths in a style of dance that blurs the line between dancing and performing sexual acts. Although the question of how Reid expects to make money simply by going to clubs isn't answered until near the movie's end, it's pretty clear from the beginning that "Dancehall Queen" is an old-fashioned melodrama sure to culminate in the all-important big show. You'll be mesmerize by the clothes and the wigs that these women sport. The score itself is really good featuring Beenie Man (who provides the title track), Bounty Killer, Lady Shaw, Junior Demus and Sanchez.
Taken as such and enhanced by its Jamaican setting, it's not terrible, and it does feature a guest appearance by Beenie Man. But, despite being bankrolled by Island Records, it was clearly made on the fly, and the rough edges show. As you view this the upbeat dancehall style is catchy and infectious, and the dancing scenes will certainly hold your attention and probably be part of the reason why its like so much.
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