Time to Dance Parent Guide
Predictable, formulaic, but filled with color and music, this is a glossy exemplar of a Bollywood musical.
Parent Movie Review
Ah, Bollywood. Known for movies filled with vibrant song and dance numbers, melodramatic storylines, and stereotypical characters, India’s film industry outsells Hollywood productions. Even in North America, Bollywood pictures have a loyal and growing audience. If you’re part of that group, or if you’re looking for a clean, romantic movie that won’t make you think too hard, Time to Dance is the one for you.
Given the title, it’s no surprise that this film features multiple lengthy song and dance numbers. Several exuberant set pieces occur in London, hitting all the tourist hot spots, and featuring high octane street dancing. The rest of the dance numbers take place in the staid environs of a ballroom dancing championship. I have to admit that I know nothing about dancing, so not only can’t I tell a tango from a rumba, I can’t even tell you if the dancing is good. What I can say is that to my untrained eye, the dancing looks slick and professional, even if it also feels (at times) interminable.
The story follows Bollywood conventions by being both formulaic and predictable. Lead actress Isabelle Kaif plays Isha, a beautiful young dancer who teaches at her family’s dance academy. When an accident leaves her with a torn ligament in her knee, her partner for the upcoming dance championship dumps her for a healthier partner. Isha is in despair, but Rishabh, a handsome admirer, convinces her that cutting edge physiotherapy can get her back on her feet. She in turn persuades him to upgrade his street dancing skills and partner her in the dance contest. The plot is full of holes: Can someone really recover from a torn meniscus in a month? Is it possible to become an expert ballroom dancer in four weeks? Character development is also shallow: in particular, the nasty contest chairperson is a conniving caricature of entitled privilege. To be honest, neither Isha nor Rishabh are deep character studies, although Rishabh tries to give his character’s tragic backstory some emotional weight. Sadly, he usually comes across as moody rather than haunted.
Other significant flaws in the film include its incredible length. At just under two hours it’s far too long for a lightweight dance flick. My solution is simple – eliminate the role of Rishabh’s sidekick, played by Rajpal Yadav. His character is so phenomenally annoying and so verbose that erasing him from the film would reduce the movie’s length and make it more enjoyable. Viewers who dislike subtitles might also wish for a dubbed track. This film moves back and forth between English and Hindi and the subtitles are good, but if you don’t like reading subtitles, this will be a deterrent for you.
Problems aside, Time to Dance has minimal content issues. Bollywood conventions forbid sex on screen and even kissing is taboo. That doesn’t mean there’s no sexual content, however. The film features plenty of suggestive dancing, combined with embraces, yearning glances and “near kisses”. Famed British playwright George Bernard Shaw is credited with describing dancing as “a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire” and the sultry performance provided by Rishabh and Isha certainly illustrates the truth of his words. It might not be sex, but it’s certainly sexy.Directed by Stanley D'Costa. Starring Sooraj Pancholi, Isabelle Kaif, Sammy Jonas Heaney. Running time: 113 minutes. Theatrical release May 6, 2021. Updated August 4, 2022
Watch the trailer for Time to Dance
Time to Dance
Rating & Content Info
Why is Time to Dance rated TV-PG? Time to Dance is rated TV-PG by the MPAA
Violence: A main character imagines beating someone with a crutch. There’s a brief animated scene involving a fatal accident on a dance floor and it’s later shown in a brief live action segment. A man mentions cremation of the dead.
Sexual Content: There are a several scenes of sexually suggestive dance moves.
Profanity: There is one term of deity and another casual reference to God.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A main character takes unidentified pills. People drink moderate amounts of alcohol in social settings.
Page last updated August 4, 2022
Time to Dance Parents' Guide
Why is Rishabh haunted by his past? How does he overcome the burdens he’s carrying? How do his friends help? How do his religious beliefs influence his healing process?
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