Reshma’s Review of El Cantante

It is great to see students getting involved in the website. Recently journalist and Toronto Dance Salsa student Reshma Ramjattan submitted to me her review of the movie “El Cantante” for our students to enjoy. Here it is…thanks Reshma!

“Hello my Toronto Dance Salsa family!

I checked out the new movie, El Cantante, starring Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony on the weekend and all I can say is: wow! El Cantante is based on the life of salsa legend Hector Lavoe, played by Marc Anthony. It starts off with Puchi, played by Jennifer Lopez, being interviewed about her life with Lavoe. The story begins in 1963 when Lavoe leaves his native Puerto Rico against his dad’s wishes to pursue a singing career in New York City. Shortly after he arrives there, he meets Puchi, they become smitten with each other and end up getting married and having a child.

The movie is all about Lavoe’s life with Puchi and his rise and fall from stardom. It shows how he got signed with his first record deal and how he became a huge star, teaming up with Willie Colon, then branching off and going solo. It also shows Lavoe’s turbulent relationship behind the scenes with Puchi. Looking on the outside, many of us would think that being a world-renowned singer with lots of money would be a fantastic life to live. But this movie shows you both the wonderful times Lavoe had and the very,very dark times he experienced.

I won’t tell you too much because I really want all of you to go check it out for yourselves. But I don’t recommend that you take your kids to see this movie. There is some sexuality, profanity and many scenes that show drug use. Leon Ichaso directed the film and he did a terrific job, style-wise. He used black and white documentary-type imagery when Puchi was being interviewed about Lavoe’s life, and colour to show the scenes in real time. I liked how the movie progressed with a timeline, showing Lavoe’s life in years leading up to his death. The one thing I didn’t like about the film was that it ended somewhat abruptly. It skipped a block of time in the end and went from an accident that Lavoe survived to text on the screen stating that he died five years after at the age of 46. I would’ve liked to have seen more about the times closer to his death and how Puchi’s life was after Lavoe’s passing.

Overall, I really think you will love this movie. The music is so good, I found myself dancing in my seat and I wanted to go out dancing right after the movie finished! I even caught myself watching Jennifer Lopez’s footwork while she was dancing…can you say I’m a Toronto Dance Salsa student??!!

My fellow dancers, go check out El Cantante, I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I’m sure you’ll all really like it. ”

Reshma Ramjattan

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