Saturday, June 20, 2015

Review of ABCD2

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Cast: Varun Dhawan (Suresh), Shradda Kapoor (Vinnie), Prabhu Deva (Vishnu Sir), Dharmesh Yelande (Dharmesh), Lauren Gottileb (Olive), Raghav Juyal (Raghu), Pravin Bhosle (Chotu), Sushant Pujari (Vernon), Punit Pathak (Vinod), Karthik (Raju), Prachi Shah (Suresh’s mother),  Tisca Chopra (watch the movie to know her role), Jineet Rath (Manu), Navjot Singh Sidhu (As himself, cameo), Kapil Sharma (as himself, cameo), Remo D’Souza (as himself, cameo), Terence Lewis (as himself, cameo), Puja Batra (as herself, cameo), Ganesh Acharya (Gopi, cameo)
Direction: Remo D’Souza
Produced by: Siddharth Roy Kapur
Written by: Mayur Puri (Dialogue)
Screenplay: Tushar Hiranandani
Story : Remo D’Souza
Music: Sachin-Jigar
Cinematography: Vijay Arora
Edited by: Manan Sagar
Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures, UTV Motion Pictures
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios
Release Date: 19th June, 2015
Duration: 154 minutes
Language: Hindi

ABCD2, is a 3D dance film directed by ace choreographer Remo D’Souza. The prequel to this movie ABCD (Any Body Can Dance) had some great dance moves by the professional dancers playing various roles. ABCD2 will not disappoint you at all with its niftily edited dance sequences. It is only and only about Dance, Dance and Dance. While the prequel had Prabhudeva transforming a bunch of street ruffians into dance champions, this has Prabhudeva mentoring a group of good young dancers, and facilitating them in their journey to fulfill their dreams. ABCD2 is inspired by the journey of four boys Suresh, Vernon, Rohit, Pavan who are part of a dance institute called Fictitious Dance Academy. They were accused of cheating on a reality TV dance show. The movie projects their journey from Nalasopara in suburban Mumbai to the World Starz Hip Hop Challenge finals in Las Vegas. If the prequel had professional dancers / choreographers taking the center stage, this has Varun and Shraddha taking up the center stage. The weak point of the movie is poorly knit storyline, dialogues. But as Remo puts it across through one of the dialogue: We dance to express, not to impress; ABCD2 expresses as well as impresses through some brilliant, incredible dance moves, but fails to impress, rather falters through its poor storytelling. ABCD 2 might not strike emotional chords of the viewers, but it has all the elements to make you glued to your chair and enjoy the dance. One can get to experience the flavour of passion, persistence, zeal, aspirations of the dancers as well as claiming one’s reputation back, redemption, betrayal etc. ABCD2 is a full-on dance entertainment film.   

Varun plays Suresh, who along with his bunch of friends including Vinnie (Shraddha Kapur) participate in “Hum Kisi se Kam Nahi” dance contest on TV as Mumbai Stunners team. While the act got them standing ovation from the audience, the judges condemned them for copying an internationally renowned Philippines’ dance troupe. The team disintegrates after disqualification and everybody picks up or continues with their odd jobs for survival, viz. Suresh as waiter in a pub cum bar, Vinnie as hairdresser in a saloon, someone at Pizza store etc. But everywhere, they get to face lot of humiliation and called as cheaters. Suresh, who picked up his dancing skills from his late Padmashree awardee mother (Prachi Mishra), expresses his regret and pain via his dance moves. Suresh identifies World Starz Hip Hop dance competition going to be held at Las Vegas as one of the major means to undo the mistake, regain the reputation and prove to the world that they are no more cheaters. But he is unable to get his whole team back. Meanwhile, Suresh is able to see a mentor in an alcoholic Vishnu (Prabhudeva) putting up an impromptu Happy Hour dance performance in his pub. After much persuasion by Suresh and friends, Vishnu agrees to mentor them. There starts their journey to reach Las Vegas. Integration of the team happens with a few earlier members rejoining and also Dharmesh and deaf/dumb Vinod (Punit) joining the team. They overcome various challenges, right from the finance, to get an entry into a qualifying dance competition at Bangalore and to manage the tickets for Las Vegas as Indian Stunners (Probably intentionally Mumbai stunners were called later as Indian Stunners to show the journey of transformation of dancers from local suburban area of Mumbai to India to World).

Were the challenges over with their reaching Las Vegas? What new challenges awaited them? When and how Lauren make entry into the scene?  What all bottlenecks were faced by them? Does the friendship of Suresh and Vinnie take the shape of love?

All the main characters, be it Prabhudeva, Varun, Shraddha, Dharmesh, Punit, Lauren everybody has got their own screen space to express themselves through their dance moves. Prabhudeva is always a visual delight to watch, but what surprises me as a viewer is Varun Dhawan’s passionate dance moves. He has got them so perfect. Even Shraddha is so natural when she dances. We have seen rest of the dancers in various dance platforms and reality shows, and would be able to identify with them easily. Dharmesh, Punit, Raghav, Sushant Pujari, Jineet Rath and Lauren deserve a special mention.

What doesn’t work in ABCD2’s favour: A very loosely knit storyline. Sub plots are just introduced for the sake of it without getting to the depth (were these scenes required at all) viz. betrayal, racial discrimination, rivalry amongst competitors, fight sequences, bringing the sympathetic element of one of the team member suffering from critical illness etc. Although ABCD 2 is different from Happy New Year, but some similarity as far as a local team reaching out to a foreign locale to fight the competition. Viewers may not be able to get an emotional connect with the movie for  a few scenes.

What works in ABCD2’s favour: Dance, Dance and only Dance. Incredible dance performances by top notch performers. Two dance sequences during last twenty minutes of the film deserve standing ovation. And a few solo performances need special mention. The dance sequence with a mix of patriotism & divinity is certainly going to give you goosebumps. Some of the songs viz. Saathiyan, Bezuban etc. are good. Visuals of Vegas and Grand Canyon are shot impeccably.

The end credits start rolling with the original Fictitious group members Suresh, Vernon, Rohit, Pavan in the frame. The message by Remo D’Souza stand apart: “It is all about the next step in life”.

ABCD2 expresses as well as impresses through some brilliant, incredible dance moves, but fails to impress, rather falters through its poor storytelling. But a must watch for all dance-lovers, you will not be disappointed at all with its niftily edited dance sequences.

Rating: 3/5 (Good)