Battle Freestyle is a Norwegian dance feature based on Maja Lunde’s internationally acclaimed book, “Battle”. It is currently streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Amalie (Lisa Teige), Mikael (Fabian Svegaard Tapia), Moa (Bao Andre Nguyen), Alex (Georgia May Anta), and Josef (Morad Aziman) form a freestyle hip-hop dance crew, Illicit. Amalie is the only one in the group who has a 9-5 job. One day, during an overtime shift, she finds out they have qualified for an international dance battle, “Break the Cypher” in Paris.
Josef, unaware of what has happened, tells the group he wants to leave because he is expecting a baby. Street hip-hop is not enough to sustain a family. But Amalie discloses the news to everyone and they agree to take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win thirty thousand euros.
Amalie often views the profile of her estranged mother on Facebook. She runs a dance academy in Paris and specialises in ballet. Once in Paris, Amalie is constantly distracted by the urge to meet and reunite with her.
Meanwhile, Illicit meets their rival team, Raw-nez. Amazed by their skills, the group decides to incorporate new moves into their routine to be able to match them.
Amalie gets in touch with her mother, Vivian, in person. She is reluctant to let others know about it, but Mikael, her boyfriend, knows. She asks him to keep it a secret. She takes time off her practice to meet Vivian and bond with her.
However, she is disappointed when Vivian does not introduce her to people as her daughter.
Amalie must choose between her longing for her absent mother and her passion for dance to be able to survive the brutal world of professional dance.
If you have any doubts about the ending, here is a complete breakdown.
Battle: Freestyle ending explained in detail:
One day, Vivian asks Amalie to apply for a three-year-long modern dance course at the academy, and she agrees. Although she is more comfortable with hip-hop, she is pleased with the idea of living with Vivian as her daughter.
Vivian arranges an audition for her, Amalie doesn’t let anyone know but brings Mikael to breakfast at Vivian’s place. Mikael comes to know about the audition and gets indirectly insulted for his lack of formal training by Vivian. He asks to leave, but Amalie says she will come late for practice.
When Amalie comes for practice, Josef disqualifies her. He justifies his stance by citing her absence in group rehearsals. The crew agrees with him, and Amalie leaves the hotel where they were staying.
Amalie goes to a bar and meets Fabienne, Maxine, and several other dancers from marginalized communities. When Mikael comes to visit her, they fight and Amalie says she has quit her job for this competition. Mikael, unable to fathom why she never told him anything, goes back to practice and has a breakdown.
She spends the night with Fabienne and her friends, they bond over the night through dance and booze. The next day, in the audition, she gives a perfunctory performance. Unsurprisingly, she is rejected.
She comes back to the bar, and Fabienne asks her to let go of the audition and dance with them. She dances freestyle and lets go of her bottled-up emotions.
Vivian calls to meet Amalie, she tells her to practice and try again the next semester. Amalie refuses, and the conversation spins to how difficult it was for her to be abandoned. Vivian apologizes, and Amalie forgives. She leaves after Vivian says how pleased she is to have met her.
Amalie heads to cheer for Illicit in the competition. She arrives just in time for their showcase and cheers very loud for them. When an audience member looks at her in awe, she exclaims that it is her family.
The final battle
Just like they expected, Illicit qualifies for the final battle opposite Raw-nez. Every member will get to express their style but will also need to show teamwork. The only issue is, Raw-nez has five members. Without Amalie, Illicit has only four.
Amalie proposes to join the crew as she had been there in the very first qualifying round. Josef talks to the judges, and they, along with the whole audience agree.
They dance freestyle hip-hop in the final round, each showcasing their strengths. Amalie gestures a dance step with Mikael, which takes everyone by surprise. In the final minute, Illicit helps Alex do a double flip in the air, one they had been practising since the day they had come to Paris. With that step, it is clear they will win the battle and they do.
The emcee announces Illicit as the winner, and they win for their unique, diverse styles and amazing teamwork. After winning thirty thousand euros, they go to the bar. Mikael and Amalie resolve their conflicts; Fabienne, Maxine, and others join the team for the party and they dance together.
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