There is a disturbing tension between two different type of stories in Powell and Pressburger's masterpiece The Red Shoes. One of the stories is a traditional Hollywood romance about a young ballerina who becomes an overnight sensation and falls in love with the composer of the ballet that inspired her. Then there's another story that seems more sinister, threatening and fiercely resentful. It's a darker story hiding behind the musical curtain, which involves obsession, control, and the unwillingness to accept change. I am talking about the impresario who runs the ballet company, and who demands perfection, obedience, and loyalty, and will not under any circumstance permit 'love' to mix with 'art.' The impresario is a ruthless and resentful man who loves to control and dominate, believing that if you truly want to be the best at something, nothing, nothing else should matter... even love.
The Red Shoes is one of the most beautiful techno-color films ever made and while watching it you will find yourself engrossed and drowned in the bold bright colors and beautiful lush imagery that's presented on the screen. From the beautiful choreography of the dancing to the love story happening off the stage, The Red Shoes is a gorgeous wonder that makes you nothing but in awe when witnessing it. The director team of Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger are considered one of the best film director teams of all time, and I would place them aside other legendary British directors like Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean and Carol Reed. The 17-min ballet sequence is one of the most extraordinary sequences in all of cinema history, as it's a gorgeous vibrant colorful fantasy mixed with magical special effects, creative camera compositions and beautiful dancing choreography. Nothing ever looked as fantastical and enchanting as when the little shoemaker puts the fatal red shoes on Vicky, and the stage becomes seamlessly transformed into an astonishing dream like-world.