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So, was “Whip It”… good?

Shaman’s review of Drew Barrymore’s last directorial “objet d’art” as well as an advice to the last person that seems to need it; James Cameron.
Whip it’s beauty lied in its simplicity enabling the viewers to just sit back, open a cold one and enjoy the show. No one would be a stranger to this plot however the premise took it into a somewhat uncharted territory; Roller Derby! I had watched a few events of the sport so I was familiar with its concept which felt like watching wrestling on roller skates. It was entertaining to a certain extent but not enough to hook me on board on a regular basis. However, by incorporating the young girl struggling for her individuality as well as searching for her womanhood, Drew was able to turn an average sport into an entertaining event!

I wasn’t made aware of this jewel before I had seen it on the shelves when it came out a little while back. And that’s truly a shame since it should be showcased in every theatre across the land! I’m not saying that it’s the best film I’ve ever seen but it succeeded at something the industry has repeatedly failed to do for countless years now; to bring a refreshing and simplistic originality to a revisited story. Too many times has Hollywood attempted to polish their reboots, remakes, re-imaginings and re-farts with “oohs and aahs” instead of either keeping what made it great in the first place or improving on the source (if that’s ever possible) by the simple addition or preservation of “soul” into their endeavours. In my opinion, a story can have “heart” all it wants but if it doesn’t have a soul to bare at the audience, it doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on. It would be nothing more than a beautiful display of fireworks which is entertaining but doesn’t make you “connect” with it on a deeper level. If we take James Cameron’s Avatar for an example, it was a beautiful spectacle but a tale of initiation without enough character development pretty much translates to simple fireworks. Cool but… lacking a bit.

"Whip It" was a refreshing little gem of a flick that had “feel good” written all over it!!! There were no fireworks in sight and its the last film that would have needed it in my honest opinion! In my eyes, it became an instant classic like very few we’ve seen in our day and age, taking me back to the days of Footloose, Karate Kid and Big! The performances felt smooth, simple and natural incapacitating you even more into the story. I never thought I’d see the day where Daniel Stern could be a cool father without needing a straight jacket. Juliette Lewis’ performance as the antagonist we love to hate yet can’t help but still want to cheer on, kept the story going and added enough spice to ask for more! But the true star that stole the show was this small town girl that aspired to bigger things that no one would have imagined her do; Ellen Page! She completely sold the character to us on a silver platter and all we could do is bask in her beauty and greatness even at its most simplistic. I haven’t seen “Juno” yet but she practically was one of the few things in “X-Men: The Last Stand” that didn’t warrant thrashing! Not only does she have the perfect look and build for James Cameron’s next project, but her talent would be a guaranteed investment in the project’s success! James, Ellen Page is your Gally! As for “Whip It”, I’ll "closeline" it with five elbows to the face on five!!!

And for all the sketch fans out there, here is my sketch of Ellen Page as Alita: Battle Angel!!! Click on it to check out my whole gallery ;)

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