‘Work It’ playfully explores ambition through music and dance

The film is now streaming on Netflix. Supplied
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Updated 14 August 2020

‘Work It’ playfully explores ambition through music and dance

CHENNAI: Laura Terruso’s “Work It” — one of Netflix’s better releases in the recent months of the pandemic — centers on a young woman’s dream to get into the college that her late father attended. The charming film has an easy pace and, despite its predictable nature, makes for a compelling watch, largely owing to the dance sequences, which form the core of the plot.

Produced by Alicia Keys and performed by a cast of actors in their twenties posing as high schoolers, “Work It” is essentially the story of Quinn (singer and Disney star Sabrina Carpenter), a student who receives excellent grades at school, is focused and has few interests outside her campus. She does have a dream, however, and a desperate one at that — to get into Duke University. Quinn is determined to receive admission into Duke after she graduates from high school.




“Work It” centers on a young woman’s dream to get into the college that her late father attended. Supplied

It seems her grades alone are not enough, however, and in an interview with the head of Duke, a slight misunderstanding occurs. Quinn is mistaken for a dancer, and it appears her admission hinges on her being one. She is not even part of her school’s award-winning dance team. So, she enlists the help of her best friend, Jas (YouTuber-turned-actor Liza Koshy), who is a superb dancer. As the plot progresses, Quinn falls in love with Jake (singer and “Hamilton” star, Jordan Fisher), also an accomplished artist, who doubles as her coach. 

Quinn assembles a team of girls and boys — who can barely shake a leg but who are eager to be part of her efforts — to join a dance competition. The group has difficulty finding a place to practice but eventually find a spot at a nursing home, where residents turn in by seven in the evening. There is a hilarious scene in which Quinn and the dance group begin a practice session only to elicit the interest of one of the residents, who appears to have been disturbed by the noise but who, much to the surprise and amusement of the group, sportingly joins in!

“Work It” is playful, and the dance sessions are a lot of fun to watch, despite Quinn’s desperation to get it right. The 93-minute run time has never a dull moment, not even when Quinn is deep in the dumps, having been rejected by Duke and finding it a struggle to get her body to sway to the beat.


Newcomer Iman Vellani cast as Muslim superhero Ms. Marvel in new Disney+ series

Updated 01 October 2020

Newcomer Iman Vellani cast as Muslim superhero Ms. Marvel in new Disney+ series

DUBAI: After an extensive search, Marvel has finally found its Ms. Marvel. The studio has cast Canadian newcomer Iman Vellani to star in its forthcoming Disney+ series based on the comic-book character.

The live-action TV series on Disney+, which was announced last month, is currently slated for a 2021 release. 

Not much is yet known about the young actress, however Vellani was part of the Next Wave Committee at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival which was tasked with adding a special tag to films that would resonate with their peers.

Ms. Marvel is the alter-ego of Kamala Khan, a daughter of Pakistani immigrants, who hail from New Jersey. She adopts the alter-ego Ms. Marvel in honor of Captain Marvel, who is portrayed by US actress Brie Larson. She is Marvel’s first Muslim superhero.

Ms. Marvel was created by G. Willow Wilson, who is also a Muslim woman. Supplied

Her creator, G. Willow Wilson, is also a Muslim woman, ensuring that fans get an accurate portrayal of what it means to be a Muslim female in America.

Making her comic book series debut in 2014, Ms. Marvel’s story arc revolves around coming of age, dealing with society, her culture, parents, and maintaining her Muslim identity, all while balancing her shape-shifting super powers. 

Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president, first teased the character’s appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a 2018 interview with BBC, revealing that in addition to the small screen, the character will be included in future Marvel films.

 “Ms. Marvel, which is another character in the comic books, the Muslim hero who is inspired by Captain Marvel, is definitely sort of in the works. We have plans for that once we’ve introduced Captain Marvel to the world,” he told the publication.

Ms. Marvel joins other mainstream Muslim superheros, including DC Comics’ The Green Lantern (Lebanese-American) and Nightrunner (Algerian-French).