Cuties (2020)

Listen, I know this is controversial. Normally avoid films that stir up drama but I felt compelled to watch to form my own opinions. Check out the last paragraph for what they are.

Eleven-year-old immigrant girl Amy (Fathia Youssouf), originally from Senegal, lives with her mother Mariam (Maimouna Gueye) in one of Paris’s poorest neighbourhoods. In an apartment along with her two younger brothers, she waits for her father to rejoin the family from Senegal. She helplessly witnesses the suffering of her mother, whose polygamous husband is preparing to return from the country with a second wife. She is also bored during prayer and more generally of the religious values ​​that her aunt seeks to transmit to her.

Things turn swiftly, as Amy is fascinated by her disobedient neighbor Angelica’s (Medina El Aidi – Azouini) twerking clique called Cuties, an adult-style dance troupe which has contrasting fortunes and characteristics to Mariam’s religious customs, values and traditions. The pre-teens practice for a competition and do not hesitate to adopt revealing outfits in the image of their older competitors. Encouraged by success and the quest for recognition on social networks, Amy decides to incorporate into the choreography gestures of sexually suggestive dance moves that she has seen on videos. 

Following a humiliation at school, she sends a compromising photo of her vagina on social networks, which causes her to be rejected by her classmates. Following a quarrel with the rest of the Cuties, they ban her from performing with them at the dance contest. While her father’s wedding is on the same day as the final competition at Parc de la Villette, she is determined to dance with them. Sneaking out of the house in her dance outfit, she pushes another member of the Cuties, Yasmine (Myriam Hamma), into a lake, so that the Cuties have no choice but to allow her to dance with them. The highly suggestive dance routine shocks the audience. Suddenly thinking about her mother during the routine, Amy bursts into tears and leaves before their performance ends to join her mother. Upon her return, she runs into her aunt who blames her for her outfit and recent attitude. Amy’s mother intervenes by telling her to leave her daughter alone and then hugs her to reassure her. Amy implores her mother to allow Amy to not attend the wedding, in order to demonstrate her disapproval. Amy’s mother permits her to not go, but states that she herself must go to fulfill her duty as a wife. Amy then abandons both the traditional wedding dress and her sexy dancer’s outfit, and, in jeans and a t-shirt, her hair down, she goes out to play jump rope with a group of girls.

I have a lot to say on this. Firstly, it won sundance awards. Second that Netflix specifically choose to put the trailer out like they did and change the poster. However neither of those points makes a difference in what I saw. The film is made to make you uncomfortable, which it surely does a good job on that. I had a rough time watching this. Not just because of the content but the plot was just not compelling. The dancing was not good despite coming off provocative. I know it was meant to stir up what the younger generations are going through. They really are exposed to a lot of sexual content. Clothing gets shorter and smaller and the dancing now via youtube, music videos and Tik Tok is just sickening. If this film does get pulled, I think we as a society need to look at other content, clothing companies and so much more to say no more. This started well into my childhood, theres no denying it. I do not recommend this film at all. Its not even appropriate for adults.

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