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Dancing Up a Storm, Desi Ishtyle
ABCD2 is for dance fans. At times you’re not even sure you’re watching a movie – it seems like a very extended, very elaborate dance contest on TV and goes on and on. If you’re with a group of teenybopper friends and love hip-hop dance moves, have access to a large size Coke and a huge tub of popcorn, you’ll have a very good time.
For others, it will be a mere time-pass because that’s what it is. Oh, yes, the 3-D effects are a bonus but except for a few breath-taking moments, the movie isn’t particularly suited to 3-D. The novelty of 3D glasses will draw audiences in and keep it all interactive – but will it make for the lack of a real storyline?
What’s the story? A young dance group is ostracized and shamed when it’s discovered that they had plagiarized the choreography of their winning act from a Philippine dance group. They decide to redeem themselves by entering a major hip-hop dance contest in Las Vegas, one which had never been attempted by any Indian team. With Vijay Sir (Prabhudeva), a drunken, embittered choreographer in tow, they set out to win the world record and their lost glory. And they do.
A movie needs a bit more of a storyline than ABCD2 offers and some real emotional tension to keep the moviegoer in the seat. ABCD2 is basically a bunch of dance routines strung together with a contrived plot – but you can accept the limitations and enjoy the dance moves for themselves.
The earlier ABCD (Anybody Can Dance) was a much more grittier movie with real underdogs and no-name dancers who were not actors. That film had a different kind of charm while this one is much more polished and sophisticated but somehow loses the edginess of that rough and tumble out-and-out dance story. Here the story is stretched more than any body part!
ABCD2 – Prabhudeva, Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor
The pluses in ABCD2 are the great Las Vegas location, superb technology, the cinematography and the 3-D effects. The film which is directed by Remo D’souza and produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur, pulls out all the stops and has a plush, five-star feel to it. The dancers are topnotch and this time around well-known stars have been given the leads. Prabhudeva has a charismatic presence but just does not have a sympathetic enough character for you to root for him. Nor is Varun Dhawan animated enough as an actor for you to feel his character’s shame, his loss since he doesn’t seem to feel it himself. Shraddha Kapoor as Vinnie, is lovely to look at and fits the bill of a young dancer, even though she’s not a trained dancer. It’s a complete makeover from the woe-begone, anguished Arshia of ‘Haider’ -but that’s the magic of the movies, and of good actors.
What I did enjoy, in true Bollywood fashion, is the maudlin, over-emotional lyrics – I guess I’m desi and the filmmakers were prescient enough to realize what would make a desi feel all mopey and emotional and patriotic – love of mother, love of country and love of God. The songs and dance numbers used these emotions unabashedly to get you all worked up for the Indian team at the dance contest. Yes, because these kids are a God-loving, mom-loving, India-loving bunch of young dancers, that was enough to have the judges and the entire audience at the contest rooting for them!
Moneywise, ABCD2 is a money-spinner. Tarun Adarsh @tarun_adarsh tweeted: “#ABCD2 takes a S-U-P-E-R-B start. Collects ₹ 14.30 cr on Fri, despite rains playing havoc in Mumbai. HIGHEST OPENER of 2015.”
Nothing sweeter than the jingling of the box office registers!
Checking out the comments from viewers of the trailer, I can see that there is a distinct audience for this film: On the Facebook page, there are over 150,000 likes, and over 28631 shares.
My one sentence review summary:
If you have lots of time to pass, don’t want to mess up your head by thinking too much – and love dance, you will enjoy this movie.