Amy, an 11-year-old girl, joins a group of dancers named “the cuties” at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity – upsetting her mother and her values in the process.Written by Netflix
Throughout history, there have always been aspects of life that take place in society but are never addressed in the mainstream. When dealing with adolescent girls growing up there are countless important factors that seem to be swept up under a rug, instead of being fully examined by the larger population. Cuties is a film that attempts to shine a light on these issues but may have gotten a little too close for comfort. For every great accomplishment first-time directorMaïmouna Doucouré achieved within this film to help her move a step forward, there’s another decision from her directing (or outside influence) that sets her twelve steps back.
Amy (Fathia Youssouf) is a foreigner to her new home and wants to make friends like any other child would her age. So she sees a local dance group that receives a lot of attention and she feels if she emulates the same behavior, she could possibly get a piece of the pie of fame and recognition. Basically, Amy sees older women twerking online and wants to do the same. Amy and her classmates are only eleven to twelve years old. So that may make you turn your head on why this French film was made.
First, the performances throughout the film, especially coming from Amy, are convincing. There were a number of times where I felt convicted dealing with her pain as if I were in her shoes. Everyone has been neglected in some way, shape, or form in life, and Cuties dives in deep into that mindset from a younger girl’s point of view. It can be a scary reality to look into, but it’s a necessary conversation that needs to take place, and this film forces you to do that. This film also looks at the damage that is done to young minds when they aren’t properly educated, especially dealing with the topic of sex.
Cuties is a key to access what younger girls are doing and thinking behind closed doors. While it can warrant a very cringy and uncomfortable viewing, it may be a necessary watch for parents and their understanding of youth and the best way to approach them. Children are growing up in a completely different world than decades ago, with access to limitless information via their cell phone which can still be quite alarming. So when a young girl has no positive outlets to express herself, and selling your body appears to be the only path forward, only chaos can arise from such a dilemma.
Does this film have young girls twerking like adults? Yes! Is it uncomfortable to watch? Yes! Should this film be seen by the majority to learn what in society has a huge influence on the youth? NO! The answer would’ve been yes, but instead of showing you a true account of life from a young girl, Cuties turns into a pedophile child molester dream come true. While some of the shots in this film were necessary for debate, there were still too many scenes that were highly inappropriate.
There is no reason why the camera needs to be shoved in a little girl’s crotch for an extended amount of time! I found this disgusting and reaching too far to get the point across. These little girls were acting like strippers or whores on a corner. Unfortunately, this is a reality in the world today, and no complaints are given for the film addressing that. The issue is what the director decided to do with the camera. The entire aspect ratio of the screen is of a crotch too often. Another problem with the story is that the surrounding adults in the film never addressed the girls dressing as such. It was completely ignored as if it was something normal, or some hidden message that this needs to be accepted by society. There were just too many over the top sexual scenes that didn’t enhance the overall story arc or develop the characters. They were just there to give low down scumbags an early Christmas gift to pleasure themselves to. There was actually another scene where the little girls broke the fourth wall dancing for the audience. Again, this was highly detestable, to say the least.
Cuties could’ve been one of the best films of the decade, that forced conversations many didn’t want to have and opened our eyes to the examples we’re leaving our children to live up to within the world we live in. There were so many positive things to praise this film for, but those positive additions will forever be forgotten due to the grotesque nature of the camera work, and/or hidden agenda that may be within it. I’m not one to believe in such claims, but after I saw the film, I couldn’t help myself. There were no valid reasons for such explicit shots/scenes that are just so blatant to be included in this film. I honestly don’t know if these shots/decisions were from the director, some executive, or a producer, but it was a horrible choice that categorizes this film as mild child pornography.