REVIEW | 'One and Only' captures the endearing chaos of streetdance
First, let's get it out that the plot is formulaic. Young busker Chen Shuo (Wang Yibo) benched his dream of becoming part of a popular dance crew to help his mom with their finances. Hip-hop veteran-turned-coach Ding Lei (Huang Bo) then taps him to be a breakdancer stand-in as their main star goes full diva, skips rehearsals, and moves to recruit expat members. It has all the works of an underdog movie.
So how do you humble someone who is apparently the best in what he does?
Enter a myriad of dance sequences that seem to bend the law of physics. The choreography is top-notch, highlighted with impeccably timed editing. One and Only's cinematography adds depth to Chen's character. The technicals marry with the story well, you wouldn't notice you've been sitting in the theater for two hours. The meticulous editing of various shots also reflect how complicated and hard it is to pull off dance routines.
While the movie not only showcases Wang's dancing skills but also his acting chops, Huang's comedic timing gives the much-needed break between melodramatic moments. One and Only's supporting cast also gets their chance to shine with their respective subplots, without making the whole film convoluted.
Director Dong Chengpeng captures the endearing chaos of streetdance with finesse. It's good that my introduction to Wang Yibo is One and Only. Wang shows he is more than just a pretty face or a pop idol. On top of his gravity-defying moves, he can act well and tug at the heartstrings.
One and Only opens on Aug. 6 in SM Cinema in the Philippines.