May 13, 2023
Edson Jean, Nagela Lukacs, Marie Lafalaise-Noel
A young man looking for a bite to eat ends up meeting a girl and dancing with her.
Jean (Jean) is a young Haitian-American living in Miami. One night, he goes to a Haitian restaurant to get some takeaway food. After failing to communicate with a middle-aged Haitian woman (Noel) who works there and does not understand English, he finds himself being introduced to her daughter Minouche (Lukacs), who introduces him to Konpa, a modern merengue dance style. As the two of them spend time together on the dance floor of the restaurant, it becomes apparent that Jean has found new values in his life.
This beautiful and emotional short drama has a plot that takes place over the course of one fateful evening, during which the protagonist discovers the joys of music and dancing and it is strongly hinted that he has also found romance. The majority of the narrative takes place inside the restaurant's crowded dance floor, where Minouche romantically teaches Jean how to dance Konpa, surrounded by dancers. The atmosphere is quite wonderful and romantic and the two of them end up getting along rather well and taking a liking in each other. The final scene is quite dramatic but also offers hope.
The screenplay suggests that dancing and music are a form of communication as Jean and Minouche, two people from different cultures find blissfulness between them while dancing to music, even though they are not fluent in the same language. The last scene seems to point out that music can also offer joy and healing.
Regarding the characters, Minouche is the most interesting one, a confident young woman who appreciates the beauty of Konpa and is more than willing to share it with others. Jean is a likeable protagonist, one who makes a life-changing discovery and goes through significant character development.
Huge commendations go to director of photography Juan Camilo Barriga for the splendid cinematography and to composer Darnell Monestime for the wonderful score. The dancing is very well choreographed and the filmmakers make effective use of slow motion.
This film uses a boy-meets-girl concept in order to tell a romantic and emotional story about the art of Konpa and about the joys of music and dancing in general, how they bring people together. There is romance and the tenderness of caring for others, however, more than anything, the centres of the film are the contributions that dancing and music make to the ones who experience them.