Movie Review: ABCD 2

June 19, 2015
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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

The underdog story is a guaranteed trope in movies, in which characters overcome adverse circumstances and make it big. But in Remo D’Souza’s sequel to “ABCD – Any Body Can Dance”, you’d have to look really hard to find that story, hidden as it is under layers and layers of gauze, outlandish costumes and an assembly line of flashy dance routines.

“ABCD 2” is based on the true story of a dance group, which started out from a Mumbai suburb, and reached the finals of the Hip Hop International dance championship in Las Vegas.

Heavily inspired by successful Hollywood dance franchises like “Step Up”, director D’Souza, himself a choreographer, fails to cash in on the great material he has, because the story of a dance group’s ascent to stardom could have been a compelling one.

Throughout the film, D’Souza gives us some impressively choreographed songs, featuring an array of rare moves. But it fails to string together a strong storyline, and relies instead on body-bending movements to create drama. Beyond the dance performances, “ABCD 2” is disappointing and lacks cinematic flair or energy.

Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor are seen in a still from “ABCD 2” The dialogue is inane and the acting immature, especially from dancer Shraddha Kapoor and her teacher Prabhudheva. It is obvious they cannot emote to save their lives.

Like the first part, “ABCD 2” uses familiar dance motifs, including a song about Lord Ganesha or a rendition of Vande Mataram, India’s national song, as the tricolour is being hoisted. The introduction of faux patriotism is rather abrupt and unnecessary, and digresses from the main theme.

The 3D technology also doesn’t particularly enhance the visuals, and therefore it feels like a waste because wearing those glasses for close to three hours can be an ordeal.

Varun Dhawan stand outs among the cast because everyone else around him is mediocre. As an ambitious and earnest dancer, his character is graceful and fluid. Except for the honest note he strikes, the rest of the film could have been just a bunch of music videos and no one would have been the wiser.

(Editing by Ankush Arora; follow Shilpa on Twitter @shilpajay, and Ankush @Ankush_patrakar. This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced without permission)

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