Hindi Reviews

ABCD 2 Review: A Big Cheesy Drama In Tri-Colour

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In ABCD 2 (that’s Anybody Can Dance 2), director Remo D’Souza lets minor details like a believable premise and intelligent writing take a back seat.  Instead, he takes actors like Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor, star kids whose acting abilities are yet to be uncovered, and makes them shake their legs to some electrifying music. They play poor Mumbai underdogs, so what if they look like a million dollars all the time. He then ropes in Prabhu Deva, because it’s impossible to think of any dance based Indian movie without him.  No big deal if his dance moves fail to impress this time around because we have seen them many times already.

 *****

The film starts off rather hastily from a reality show finale, where the best of all teams – Mumbai Stunners – led by Suresh aka Suru (Dhawan), is insulted and ousted from the competition for copying the dance moves of a Philippines based troupe. Puppy-eyed Dhawan, who claims to have choreographed the dance number in question, never confesses, and weirdly enough, none of his team mates, including Winnie (Kapoor), confront him on the issue.

To get out of the muck they are in, Dhawan and Kapoor decide to take part in a world hip-hop event in Los Angeles. They come across Vishnu, a drunkard who can dance like magic, and with a lot of difficulty, the kids convince him to be their trainer. A Tamilian, Vishnu sir speaks accented Hindi and English. Funnily enough, his Tamil is accented too. The kids and Vishnu sir conduct an audition and select some very talented dancers for their team. And one of them is a speech and hearing impaired TB patient, who functions as Remo DSouza’s sympathy shorthand.

In LA, Dhawan, Kapoor and their modest, wonder-eyed team members are insulted and teased by the mean, arrogant and racist Germans. The team keeps advancing. Somewhere in there,  Vishnu sir breaks the kids’ trust and disappears. A blonde dancer Olive (Lauren Gottlieb, who played the lead role in ABCD) enters and raises the heat. Pooja Batra and Tisca Chopra make forgettable cameo appearances. Then patriotism makes an appearance. The type seen in films like Chak De India, Lagaan and (the inspid) Happy New Year makes an appearance.  Followed quickly by jingoism.

*****

Varun Dhawan is earnest as Suru, and the best part of his performance is that he lets his team-mates – who are better dancers –  take over in the in dance sequences. Shraddha Kapoor, who plays the hyper-excited, female member of the team, looks fabulous, does little acting and dances pretty well. And Prabhu Deva looks like a shadow of his old self. I’d much rather watch  this again

*****

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