Dylan Pettersson ( Molly Nutley ) dreams of making it really big as a dancer. But that dream bursts before it even started when Dylan shows up too late at an audition. Since she doesn't really have a plan B, she lets herself be persuaded to work as a cleaner in a club where only drag queens perform. But then she meets Victor ( Fredrik Quinones ), who is a dancer himself and who sets the choreographies for the club. During a joint exercise, he immediately noticed Dylan's great talent. There's only one catch: she's a real woman. But where there is a will, there is also a way. And so she pretends to be a man who wants to appear as a drag queen …
A Swedish comedy called Dancing Queens was actually suspected of having something to do with ABBA, named after the evergreen of the national saints. Songs from the musical environment do occur, including the obligatory I Will Survive – which is mockingly commented on by those present. However, nothing can be seen or heard from the pop titans themselves. Instead, the Netflix film focuses on a group of men who regularly dress up in women's clothes and appear on stage. Dancing drag queens who pretend to be singing to the music of others. And a woman who somehow slipped into the whole thing.
That idea is also the best element of the film. It is well known that some men like to dress up as women and appear like that. But a woman who disguises herself as a man, who disguises herself as a woman, is so convoluted that one is curious about what will become of the whole story. Unfortunately not as much as it turns out after a while. Director and co-writer Helena Bergström ( A beautiful gift ) doesn't make very much out of the double game of hide-and-seek. Instead of dealing with the topic of identity, especially gender identity, there is only the standard sequence in Dancing Queens that the protagonist is successful with the lie until it is discovered at some point.
After all: Bergström refrains from embarrassing jokes that are otherwise often found in a disguise comedy. More precisely, she generally saves conspicuously with jokes. Most likely, the disparaging comments are passed through as those that the characters have for each other. We have known each other, in some cases for a long time, which is why there are few inhibitions about getting rid of each other. Especially since you are in a crisis. A word slips out in the rush of the moment. Sometimes several. However, Dancing Queens doesn't invest that much time in the fate of the club or the people who work there. Rather, all of this is dealt with quickly and a little carelessly.
Of course, Dylan gets a lot more attention. The film is not just about the question of whether she will make it as a dancer – which is out of the question anyway. Rather, Dancing Queens keeps changing the focus on the family story when the protagonist and the others suffer from the death of their mother. For them, dancing is not just about physical exercise. Rather, it offers her the opportunity to process the past and find herself. But that doesn't go really much in depth here either. Perhaps Bergström no longer wanted to expect the audience and therefore leaves it at a shallow emotionalization. Or maybe she just didn't know how to do it.
All of this leads to the fact that Dancing Queens is never really more than nice. Even the very colorful costumes that the men and women wear on stage cannot hide how colorless the film as such is. Not even the dance interludes actually bring in momentum, they are too rare for that. Anyone who intends to turn on specifically for this can save themselves the project. That's a shame, a real waste. The topic itself would have given more. At least, however, it is decided not to link Dylan's self-discovery to an amorous approach. If she finds herself in time, it's not because a man gives her prospects as a partner. She can do that all by herself, whether in men's or women's clothing.
OT: "Dancing Queens"
Director: Helena Bergström
Script: Helena Bergström, Denize Karabuda
Music: Gaute Storaas
Camera: Peter Mokrosinski
Cast: Molly Nutley, Fredrik Quinones, Marie Göranzon, Mattias Nordkvist, Claes Malmberg, Christopher Wollter
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